January 29, 2015

McCrory signs repeal of Racial Justice Act

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2013

RALEIGH (AP) — Gov Pat McCrory’s signature Wednesday repealed a landmark law that had allowed convicted murderers to have their sentences reduced to life in prison if they could prove racial bias influenced the outcome of their cases.
McCrory signed a repeal of the 2009 Racial Justice Act, which both proponents and critics say will restart the death penalty in a state that hasn’t executed an inmate since 2006.
McCrory’s final signature followed months of debate between Democrats and Republicans on the law’s intent and the way it has played out. Republicans say it was so poorly crafted that it has allowed nearly all of the state’s 156 death-row inmates to launch appeals under the law regardless of their race. They say the law impedes the will of unanimous jury decisions.
McCrory raised similar complaints in a statement.
“The policy implementation of the law was seriously flawed. Nearly every person on death row, regardless of race, has appealed their death sentence under the Racial Justice Act,” he said. “The state’s district attorneys are nearly unanimous in their bi-partisan conclusion that the Racial Justice Act created a judicial loophole to avoid the death penalty and not a path to justice.”
But Democrats argue there’s plenty of evidence that those juries were racially biased.
They cite a Michigan State study of North Carolina that found evidence of prosecutors striking black people from capital cases at more than twice the rate of others over two decades. They also point to the 2012 decisions of a Cumberland County judge to reduce the sentences of four convicted murderers on racial grounds. Three of those rulings came after a rollback of the act that restricted the use of statistics to prove prejudice and required other forms of evidence.
The repeal of the Racial Justice Act was one of 56 bills McCrory signed into law Wednesday. He also approved a bill raising interest rates on installment loans and another measure banning e-cigarette sales to minors.

Comments

comments

News

Trip to the Holy Land Day 5: Renegade shepherds and snow delays

Business

For fishing gear, ‘Go to the candy store’

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man faces additional drug possession charges while in jail

News

Legislators return to Raleigh for first workday of session

News

Leatherman not interested in another term as party chairman

Education

Central office loan scheduled for state commission’s Tuesday agenda

Education

The Big Idea Business Plan Competition 2015 is set to begin

Education

Middle Schoolers create directional signs to commemorate biker’s journeys

Education

Hood Theological Seminary holds 2015 Heritage Lecture Series

Local

Rowan Helping Ministries offers ‘Bridges Out of Poverty’ workshops

Education

Rowan-Cabarrus releases 2015-18 strategic plan

Education

Catawba College Community Music Program enrolling students

Education

Education shoutouts

Education

Catawba hires director for new nursing program

News

Posters Jan. 29

Education

Education briefs

Local

Rowan Helping Ministries has money available for homes without heat

Local

NCDOT to perform maintenance on Old Concord Road  

Local

Highway Patrol continues investigation into fatal collision involving pedestrian on NC 96

Local

Nominations sought for Koontz Humanitarian Awards

Crime

Rowan authorities arrest man wanted in Iredell, Rowan break-ins

Crime

Woman steals $1,000 worth of perfume from Ulta Beauty

Check this out

Kannapolis offers academies to learn how city works

Business

Edds talks economic development at Salisbury Rotary Club