ENC Residents React To Death Sentence, Push To Repeal Racial Justice Act

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Some state lawmakers say it is time to lift the hold on executions in our state and are pushing to repeal the Racial Justice Act. The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill Wednesday on the same day a Fayetteville man convicted of murdering a 5-year-old girl was sentenced to death but with zero executions since 2006,

Dan Yesenosky asked locals how much impact is the death penalty having in our state? We have reaction from locals, after a Fayetteville man was given the death penalty.

33-year old Mario Mcneill was sentenced to death yesterday for the murder of 5-year old Shaniya Davis back in 2009. Looking at the numbers, no one in our state was sentenced to death in 2012, and only 3 people were in 2011. As for executions, the last one was in august of 2006. Amanda Lietz says she thinks life in prison is a tougher punishment.

"Because he's a young guy. So, that's even more time that he has to sit there and think about it, in guilt, than to just go ahead and say I murdered someone, now I can die next week and not have to live with the cause," said Llietz.

A state representative says 152 of the state's 156 death row inmates had filed for relief under the Racial Justice Act in 2010, but supporters say successful cases have proven beyond a doubt the state's justice system is "infected by institutionalized racism."

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Jurors say a man convicted of killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl in 2009 should die for the crime.

The Cumberland County jury deliberated less than 40 minutes Wednesday before deciding that Mario McNeill should get the death sentence for the death of Shaniya Davis. Shaniya's body was found in a kudzu patch six days after her mother reported her missing.

A medical examiner said the autopsy showed Shaniya was suffocated and had injuries consistent with sexual assault.

The jury last week convicted the 33-year-old McNeill of several charges, including first-degree murder and sexual offense of a child.

After presenting no evidence in his defense at trial, McNeill said Tuesday he wanted no one to testify on his behalf before sentencing. He ordered his attorneys not to give closing arguments.

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