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RALEIGH – North Carolina could hide the source of lethal injection drugs used to execute prisoners on death row under a bill approved by the state Senate today. HB 774 would also remove the requirement that a qualified physician be present at all executions and would instead allow any medical professional to assist in the execution. A version of the bill has already been approved by the House. The House will need to approve the Senate version before it heads to Gov. Pat McCrory.

“Horrifically botched executions in other states have demonstrated that we need more transparency, not less, when it comes to who is supervising executions and which drugs are being used to kill inmates,” said Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “North Carolina can’t hide behind a veil of secrecy when it carries out this ultimate and irreversible punishment. Courts, lawyers and the public have a right to know basic details about how the government executes inmates in their name. We urge Gov. McCrory to veto this bill in order to keep capital punishment transparent and spare the state costly legal challenges.”

Experimental, untested drug combinations were used in the horrifically botched and tortuous 2014 executions of Clayton Lockett (Oklahoma), Joseph Wood (Arizona), and Dennis McGuire (Ohio).

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Robert King, who spent 29 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana State Penitentiary for a false conviction, will discuss his journey and the experience of being in solitary confinement alongside policy advocates working on the front lines of prison reform at the University of North Carolina School of Law on Friday, April 10.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a conversation with King and Rev. Nancy Petty of Pullen Baptist Memorial Church in Raleigh, followed by a panel discussion about the use of solitary confinement in North Carolina and across the country, its physical and psychological impact on inmates, its relationship to American and international human rights laws, and the growing movement to reform and eventually end the use of solitary confinement in the United States.

A report released in November 2014 by the Human Rights Policy Seminar at the University of North Carolina School of Law concluded that solitary confinement is a cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment that amounts to torture and must no longer be used in the United States.

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, will travel to North Carolina on Saturday, February 28, to deliver the keynote address at the ACLU of North Carolina’s annual Frank Porter Graham Awards Dinner.

The statewide civil liberties organization, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1965, will honor several individuals with awards for their efforts toward advancing civil liberties in North Carolina. The event is sold out.

What: ACLU of North Carolina’s Frank Porter Graham Awards Dinner

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A longtime civil rights advocate. A courageous English teacher. Nine families who shared personal stories to help defeat a discriminatory law. A pair of lawyers who have saved people from executions. And a devoted volunteer who has given many hours of his time to the ACLU-NC.

These are the civil liberties heroes who will be honored at the ACLU-NC’s 2015 Frank Porter Graham Awards Dinner in Chapel Hill on Saturday, February 28, featuring our keynote speaker, national ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

This year’s Frank Porter Graham Award, our highest honor awarded for longstanding and significant contributions to the fight for individual freedom and civil liberties in North Carolina, is being presented to Jim Grant, who has worked to advance and defend civil liberties in North Carolina for nearly as long as the ACLU of North Carolina has existed.

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