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@NCCapitol

Racial Justice Act repeal headed to the governor

Posted June 12, 2013

Death Row, Death Penalty, Execution

— The state Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill aimed at restarting executions in North Carolina that includes language repealing the last parts of the Racial Justice Act.

Passed in 2009, the Racial Justice Act allowed death row inmates to challenge their sentences based on statistical evidence of racism in their sentencings.

Calling the original measure "poorly written," Sen. Tom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, pointed out that nearly every death row inmate, white and black, has filed an RJA appeal, even if they were convicted of killing someone of their own race.

But those who helped pass the bill said that frivolous appeals could be dismissed.

"Racism in our criminal justice system is a fact," said Sen. Earline Parmon, D-Forsyth, saying that the appeals merely ensure the criminal justice system didn't make a mistake it couldn't reverse. "If you ever hear of a case where we made a mistake, the blood is on your hands."

But Goolsby argued that legal procedures such as "motions for appropriate relief" allow for mistakes to be rectified and any overt racism to be challenged. 

"We have multiple avenues of appeal that work," he said. 

The bill also makes other administrative changes to death penalty procedures designed to comply with legal challenges to how executions are carried out. Combined with existing RJA challenges, a variety of legal rulings have imposed a de facto moratoriums on executions. Backers of this measure say it is aimed a lifting that moratorium. 

The bill now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature or veto.

58 Comments

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  • Dnut Jun 14, 10:48 a.m.

    Genralwayne: YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. what a complete and utter mess in my opinion. I thought we as a nation was trying to stop gun violence...this is advocating it. wow..
    JM
    June 13, 2013 4:34 p.m.
    >>>I know it's tough for you, but maybe you should stay on topic.

  • Dnut Jun 14, 10:39 a.m.

    So sad this is suppose to be a biblical state yet everyone is so jump to kill someone at the hands of another person. To me, those who inflict the needle are murders as well. Thou shall not kill. Period.
    Civil4Mind June 13, 2013 9:23 a.m.
    >>>Maybe you should actually read God's word, and understand it, before commenting. It actually says Thou shall not murder, not kill. Revelation 13:10 says, "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."

  • OpinionatedMama Jun 14, 10:22 a.m.

    WOOHOO!!!! It's about time to start firing up the chair again!

  • PJM Jun 13, 4:34 p.m.

    Genralwayne: YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. what a complete and utter mess in my opinion. I thought we as a nation was trying to stop gun violence...this is advocating it. wow..

  • genralwayne Jun 13, 3:59 p.m.

    Don't worry. The soon-to-be-approved generous concealed carry and firearm purchase laws will help reduce the burden on our court system.

  • A Libertarian Jun 13, 3:50 p.m.

    bbq - you are exactly correct - thou shall not murder. killing is justified in defense of ones self. executions are defense for the public.

  • bbqchicken Jun 13, 3:38 p.m.

    So sad this is suppose to be a biblical state yet everyone is so jump to kill someone at the hands of another person. To me, those who inflict the needle are murders as well. Thou shall not kill. Period.

    Civil4Mind

    The correct translation is Murder, not Kill

  • NotUrTypicalAmerican Jun 13, 2:25 p.m.

    I am neither non-white nor non Christian, I simply don't believe that my fair status entitles me to lazy interpretations of Equal Protection Under the Law. Nor do I feel entitled to revenge- which is unbiblical and about the best ncouterbanks could do to explain the justice of the death penalty. I don't "feel for" the murderers. They suffer more in prison than in death. NCOB69 stated something along the lines of "every breath drawn by a murderer is an insult to the living." Really? Then every unjust state killing is an insult to all who are just. - goldenosprey

    To goldenosprey: RESPECT

  • ncouterbanks69 Jun 13, 2:23 p.m.

    "This, like afirmative action, has no place in our society any longer."

    Exactly. Both are just proof that bias and racism is a two way street and we need to rid the world of it. At least some of us understand that the victim's are not the bad guys here.

  • Jim Britt Jun 13, 2:21 p.m.

    LOL The liberal corporate media - "The bill now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature or veto." Or veto - LOL - as if. White men have all the racial justice they can handle in the GOP Daddy State so the Racial Injustice Act is a done deal.

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