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NAACP against death-penalty bill change

Posted May 28, 2009
Updated September 9, 2009

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— The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is taking a stand against changes by the state Senate to a bill designed to prevent racial bias in the death penalty.

Death Row, Death Penalty, Execution Death-penalty amendment draws criticism

The Racial Justice Act would allow a death row inmate to appeal his conviction if race played a role during trial. Two weeks ago, the bill cleared the chamber with an amendment that would restart executions by allowing doctors and nurses to be present. The change would remove a legal obstacle that has halted executions for two years.

The NAACP and other religious groups oppose this addition to the bill.

“I am opposed to the Racial Justice Act," said Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger.

Berger, who added the amendment to the bill, said he did so because the act places "another potential hurdle from carrying out death sentences and gives defendants a second bite at the apple.”

Rev. William Barber, with the state chapter of the NAACP, disagrees with Berger. He and others began pushing for the Racial Justice Act after three black inmates, who sat on death row for a combined total of 40 years, were exonerated.

They say the intention of the act is to give defendants in capital murder cases the right to challenge their prosecution on racial bias grounds. However, Barber says state legislators have now changed the original purpose of the bill.

"Ultra conservatives and others used it as a pretext for restarting the death penalty, rather than staying focused on the real issue, which is racial justice," Barber said.

Supporters of the death penalty say, even with the changes, the bill will create another loophole for defendants to slow cases.

"It's intended to halt the system. It will make capital punishment unenforceable,” said Wayne Uber, a death penalty supporter.

Uber, a Chapel Hill resident, has personal reasons for supporting the death penalty. His twin brother, Jeffrey, was murdered in Florida.

"I do something everyday to honor my brother's memory,” he said.

Uber said he believes cases with racial bias should be appealed. But he also thinks current legal wrangling on the issue hurts victims' families.

"The main thing behind a lot of that frustration is just fear,” Uber said.

Barber said he plans to keep fighting for the bill to be passed without the amendment, and insists race is a factor.

"In North Carolina and throughout the South, we have killed innocent black men and have placed black men on death row because of their race, or because of the race of the victim,” Barber said.

The bill will go before another committee of state legislators Wednesday.

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  • slick rick da troll whisperer May 29, 2009

    "And I imagine if you have a Bull Connor type police force dealing with it is a lttle easier said than done."

    do you mean something like this police department?

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/5084899/

  • tharris01 May 29, 2009

    Why is the NAACP able to be so public, but the KKK has to hive under a rock. If you ask me, one is as bad as the other!!! Ban them BOTH!@!

  • slick rick da troll whisperer May 29, 2009

    im really interested to hear any response you may have to my comment regarding the inconsistency in the story about your arrest. you said they harrassed you even after they knew you were not the culprit and until you left the premises, but you also say they arrested you.

    which is it?

  • slick rick da troll whisperer May 29, 2009

    "But it happens and if you don't know...you should."

    considering i have had close relationships with MANY hr departments, especially those of large corporations (including auditing background checks that they perform) i KNOW for an absolute fact without a doubt that i have never seen an arrest record get factored in.

  • delilahk2000 May 29, 2009

    Rev. barber needs to go and crawl back under a rock. he is the most racest human i have ever seen to be called a Rev.

  • findoutthefacts May 29, 2009

    "Why has that happened to so many black people I have known over the years including myself? And is the fact that it happened to your white friend supposed to be comparable to the way it has happened to blacks systemtically and historically? Thinkb4uspeak"

    BECAUSE BLACKS COMMIT MOST OF THE CRIMES! if you have a problem with that, then talk to your brothas and sistas who commit so many crimes that it gives you all a bad name.

    You never answered my question before about racists. Are you saying that only whites can be racist and that no blacks can be? Cause I am pretty sure there are some black racists. But why is it that when you refer to racists, you are thinking of whites? Is that because most of the time they are white? Well its the same way for black people - since blacks commit the most crimes, they give you all a stereotype.

    But people like you and the NCAAP dont want to address your own people...you like to deflect on how someone has done you wrong!

  • slick rick da troll whisperer May 29, 2009

    "Why has that happened to so many black people I have known over the years "

    why has it happened to so many white people over the years?

  • Thinkb4uspeak May 29, 2009

    i also don't know of any employer that factors anything into their employment decision other than convictions...i have never heard of an employer factoring in an arrest record.-slick

    I am not nearly as naive as you to beleive that the arrest record is not factored in. Now, an employer won't admit they've ( I don't think it is legal) disciminated on the presence of an arrest. But it happens and if you don't know...you should.

    Wouldn't the child of an LEO know better? Where was the parental supervision here? Why couldn't the father have "taken care of things" before the boy had to carry a gun illegally? Where did he get the gun?

    More questions than answers from your anecdotal evidence

    Don't know where he got the gun....and his father was not on amicable terms with these cops. He just dealt with them as soon as he became aware of the incident. And I imagine if you have a Bull Connor type police force dealing with it is a lttle easier said than done.

  • slick rick da troll whisperer May 29, 2009

    "And is the fact that it happened to your white friend supposed to be comparable to the way it has happened to blacks systemtically and historically?"

    is it supposed to be any different? if you think so, that makes you a racist my friend. corrupt police officers are corrupt police officers. it matters not one bit if their corruption affects white people or black people. if you disagree, that confirms my belief that you are a self-pitying racist.

  • Thinkb4uspeak May 29, 2009

    YES. And, the best part, get this: THEY WERE WHITE!!! OH MY!"

    they were also convicted of it. imagine that. a white guy being convicted of something they did not do. i can personally attest to his 100% innocence, because i was with him at the time that the crime was supposedly committed.slick-rick

    Now that is a problem. Why has that happened to so many black people I have known over the years including myself? And is the fact that it happened to your white friend supposed to be comparable to the way it has happened to blacks systemtically and historically?

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