NC Senate OKs override of death penalty bill veto

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 2, 2012

RALEIGH (AP) — 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.