The repeal of North Carolina's Racial Justice Act leaves uncertainty about how quickly the state will resume executing convicted murderers and what the legislation's legacy will be after just four years in action.
Gov. Pat McCrory's signature of approval for the repeal capped off a debate over the law's intent and effectiveness that started even before it passed the legislature in 2009.
Experts and advocates say the issue of promoting racial equality in the criminal justice system will remain salient, especially in light of a growing number of states taking steps to abolish executions completely.
The law aimed to address bias in jury selection and sentencing. Studies show juries are more likely to seek the death penalty for black-on-white murders and prosecutors are more likely to strike African-Americans from juries.