'Racial Justice Act' Gets Initial OK In NC House

The House has narrowly agreed to a bill its supporters say would ensure that people are removed from North Carolina's death row if race was a factor in putting them there.

House members gave initial approval Tuesday to legislation that would also apply to situations where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in a pending capital murder case.

The defendant could use data or other evidence from a county,
prosecutorial district or nearby area to attempt to prove that race was a significant factor in the decisions.

Republicans and the state's district attorneys are opposed to the bill, saying it will further delay carrying out pending executions.

A final House vote could come Wednesday. The Senate has passed a
version of the bill.

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