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North Carolina Court Dismisses Petition for Judicial Review and Upholds Execution Protocol

North Carolina Department of Corrections' death row prisoners petitioned the Superior Court of North Carolina for judicial review of the Council of State's approval of an execution protocol order under G.S. 15-188 that would be carried out in their death sentence. The Court dismissed the petition.

In October 2008, the Court reviewed briefs and heard oral presentations from counsels of both parties. The Court determined the Council of State's approval is not substantive and does not determine individual rights and thus not subject to appeal or further review.

On May 14, 2009, the Court ruled that under G.S. 15-188, the death row prisoners are not aggrieved persons with standing to challenge the approval of the protocol through contested case hearing. As a result, they lacked the standing to challenge the administrative process.

The Court also reviewed the declaratory judgment under G.S. 1-253 and 1-254 filed by the prisoners for due process violations. Since nothing in the records supported the due process claim, the Court denied and dismissed this part of the claim with prejudice.

The Court dismissed the petition for judicial review and upheld the Council of State's approval of the execution protocol. See: Connor v. North Carolina Council of State, Superior Court (NC), Case No. 07 CVS 19577.

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Related legal case

Connor v. North Carolina Council of State