UPDATE: Legislature Cancels Gov. Perdue's Death Penalty Bill Veto

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Legislature is canceling Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto of legislation rolling back a state law giving North Carolina's death row prisoners a method to seek a reduced sentence because of racial bias.

The House voted Monday to override Perdue's veto last week of changes in the 2009 Racial Justice Act. The vote came about 90 minutes after the Senate voted to override.

The Racial Justice Act directs judges to reduce a sentence to life in prison if they find race was a significant factor in a convicted murderer receiving a death sentence or in the composition of jurors hearing a case.

Many district attorneys and Republicans said the original law went too far. Now the scaled-back version is the law.

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The North Carolina Senate has voted to cancel Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto of a bill that rolled back a state law giving death row prisoners a method to seek a reduced sentence because of racial bias.

Senators voted Monday to override Perdue's veto last week of changes in the 2009 Racial Justice Act. The 31-11 vote was well above the 60 percent required. The House still must vote to override before the new bill becomes law.

The Racial Justice Act directs judges to reduce a sentence to life in prison if they find race was a significant factor in a convicted murderer receiving a death sentence or in the composition of jurors hearing a case.

Many district attorneys and Republicans said the original law went too far.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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