NC Senate Votes To Repeal Death Row Law

The North Carolina Senate has voted to repeal a landmark state law allowing death row inmates to appeal their sentences by using statistical evidence to show the influence of racial bias.

The Monday night vote means the repeal measure now heads to the desk of Gov. Beverly Perdue, who signed the 2009 Racial Justice Act into law.

A Perdue spokesman said the governor will review the bill before making a decision.

The largely Republican supporters of the measure said the Racial Justice Act, in its current form, will clog up the courts with appeals from scores of death row inmates. They say the law amounts to an unofficial death penalty moratorium.

But supporters say the law helps ensure fairness in how capital punishment is administered.


A Senate panel has voted to essentially repeal a landmark state law allowing death row inmates to appeal their sentences based on statistical evidence showing racial bias.

The judiciary committee's move Monday evening sent the bill to the full Senate chamber, which was scheduled to take it up later in the night.

House Majority Leader Paul Stam argued that the bill approved by the committee fixes flaws in the 2009 Racial Justice Act that threatened to clog up the courts. Supporters of the repeal also say the act is virtually a moratorium on the death penalty in North Carolina.

Opponents who spoke at a public hearing said the law has withstood court challenges and is necessary to ensure fairness in how the death penalty is administered.

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  • by uh Location: enc on Nov 30, 2011 at 08:45 AM
    I get that folks are saying that if you're guilty, racial prejudice should not be an issue, but what has been proven in an overwhelming number of convictions overturned (many of them after the death penalty) is that revisited evidence proved innocence and the common factor was a black convict with white jury. It's about the innocent folks, not the guilty ones.
  • by Marty on Nov 29, 2011 at 07:05 AM
    Kind of makes one stop and ask this. How many of those death row prisoners chose their own victims based on race?
    Just saying.
  • by Billyjoejimbob Location: Podunk on Nov 29, 2011 at 06:06 AM
    Black, White, Blue, or Green. An Eye for an Eye ! End of story.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 29, 2011 at 04:11 AM
    Where are BarSlow, Lavon, and Dataman? Really no need to post, we already know what you're thinking.
  • by Miranda Location: Greenville on Nov 28, 2011 at 08:50 PM
    I don't even care about the racial issues a death row law for people who are already going to spend the rest of their natural life in prison our biggest concern...there has got to be bigger problems plaguing our state other than this?????
  • by focus Location: nc on Nov 28, 2011 at 07:58 PM
    TERMS OF RACIAL PREDUDICE are what part of the prison system the one's that accually did somthing to be in jail for there stupidity does anyone in jail ask for execution DONT BEG U SHOULD NOT PUT ANYONE IN THAT SITUATION TO MAKE THAT CALL NEVER SORRY TAKE YOUR MEDICINE LIKE YOU DELT
    • reply
      by porkchop on Nov 29, 2011 at 02:33 AM in reply to focus
      Focus: try reading your post out loud.
      • reply
        by excuse me on Nov 29, 2011 at 05:19 AM in reply to porkchop
        ROTF ....good point focus
  • by US-First Location: Greenville on Nov 28, 2011 at 07:54 PM
    Yet another great legislative decision undoing poor decisions by the previous liberals. Keep it up please!
    • reply
      by Thank You.... on Nov 28, 2011 at 10:18 PM in reply to US-First
      Now I don't have to say it.
    • reply
      by I Fought the Law on Nov 29, 2011 at 04:16 AM in reply to US-First
      Amen to poor decision making. The sole purpose of such a stupid law is to tie up the court systems even more so the vultures (crooked lawyers, judges, DA's, etc.) can pick more money out of the taxpayer's pockets.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Nov 28, 2011 at 04:54 PM
    This racial bias law was B.S,do the crime do the time. let the victoms family deal out the punishment.
    • reply
      by ncyankee on Nov 29, 2011 at 05:47 AM in reply to pete
      Thank you, and to think they already get free medical, dental, computers, A/C, education and the list goes dare they do this.. no wonder this country is going down hill, I say, after the first appeal, no more, if not approved, fry them. save our taxpayers money..
  • by ralphie Location: ahoskie on Nov 28, 2011 at 04:40 PM
    GOOD. The democrats get power, and instead of actually helping anyone, they create more and more entangling laws to give attorneys work! EXPENSIVE ATTORNEYS! If there is a valid complaint about racism, it can be appealed- and if that is why a person was convicted, then it will be overturned. NOW- can the criminals stop being racist and murderous?
    • reply
      by 40some on Nov 28, 2011 at 08:33 PM in reply to ralphie
      Aren't the Dems in power mostly attorneys anyway? Look at John Edwards who voted no on tort reform.

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