Medical Board Appeals Death Docs Decision

July 31, 2008

News Update 07.31.08

North Carolina

The North Carolina Medical Board filed an appeal in the NC Supreme Court yesterday, hoping to overturn a 2007 decision by a Superior Court that would prevent the Board from sanctioning doctors who actively participate in the taking of life. The Board asserts that active participation violates both a doctor’s oath and the intent of the legislature in passing a statute that requires only the presence of a doctor.

Stacey Lee Wynn will serve consecutive sentences of life without parole for two murders that occurred in the span of three days in 2005. Wracked by bipolar disorder and in the middle of a cocaine binge, Wynn is said to have bound a 66-year-old man at the hands and feet and beat him to death with a toilet seat. Two days later, he shot an acquaintance in the head and robbed him of cash and drugs. Wynn then disappeared for three months until he was found living in South Carolina under an assumed name. Before he was struck by mental illness and discovered cocaine, Wynn was a full-scholarship music student at UNC-Wilmington.

DW was recently contacted by the Delaware Libertarian blog with a request to spread the word about NC gubernatorial candidate Dr. Michael Munger, who opposes the death penalty. DW does not endorse candidates for political office.

Elsewhere

In Alabama, the execution of Tommy Arthur was stayed after another inmate (who is serving a life sentence for another murder) confessed to the crime for which Arthur was supposed to die. Arthur’s attorneys asked the court to delay the execution and asked the governor to order testing of the DNA of the second man, Bobby Ray Gilbert, against the DNA in a rape kit taken at the scene. Oops, said Alabama, we lost it. Arthur’s attorneys have been trying to get Alabama to conduct DNA testing for years. Arthur was sentenced to die for the murder of Troy Wicker, Jr., based in large part upon the testimony of Wicker’s wife. Judy Wicker admitted to hiring someone to kill her husband. Prosecutors agreed to release her ten years into what was supposed to have been a life sentence if she testified that the man she hired was Arthur.

Kentucky is resisting DNA testing in the case of Thomas Clyde Bowling, who is on death row for a double murder the state has always claimed he committed alone. Unfortunately for Kentucky, preliminary testing on the evidence shows that the DNA of at least three people (not including the victims) is present. It is also not clear if any of that DNA belongs to Bowling. “If Bowling’s DNA isn’t on it, it definitely helps him,” said Bowling’s attorney, David Barron. “Even if his DNA is on it, it still helps him.”


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