[JURIST] State prison administrators carried out the execution of Willie Brown, Jr. [NCADP profile] on Friday morning at the Central Prison [official website] in Raleigh, North Carolina. During the execution procedure Brown had a brain-wave monitor attached to him to ensure that he was unconscious when he was injected with the lethal doses of medication that would stop his heart. US District Judge Malcolm J. Howard had initially ruled [PDF opinion; Raleigh News Observer report] that a doctor must be present to ensure that Brown was unconscious; he later held, however, that a monitor would be sufficient [JURIST report]. Central Prison Warden Marvin Polk pronounced Brown dead at 2:11 AM ET.
In his initial ruling Howard determined that Brown's Eighth Amendment rights required that a doctor be present during his execution to ensure that Brown did not experience pain during the procedure. After Howard determined that the monitor would be sufficient, defense attorneys for Brown appealed the ruling. The US Supreme Court late Thursday denied review of the case [AP report], clearing the way for Friday's execution. AP has more.