‘Racial Justice Act’ Repealed in North Carolina

Matt Smith, CNN, June 21, 2013

North Carolina’s governor says he agreed to repeal a law that allowed inmates to challenge their death sentences on racial grounds because it effectively banned capital punishment in the state.

North Carolina legislators barred death sentences “sought or obtained on the basis of race” in 2009, when both houses of the state General Assembly were under Democratic control.

The, legislation, known as the Racial Justice Act, allowed condemned convicts to use statistical analysis to argue that race played a role in their sentencing.

Republicans who took control of the Legislature in 2010 weakened the law last year, overriding a veto by then-Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat.

Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican elected in 2012, followed legislative action and signed its complete repeal Wednesday.

“Nearly every person on death row, regardless of race, has appealed their death sentence under the Racial Justice Act,” McCrory said in a statement Wednesday. “The state’s district attorneys are nearly unanimous in their bipartisan conclusion that the Racial Justice Act created a judicial loophole to avoid the death penalty and not a path to justice.”

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  • If you want to look at it in those terms, the real “racial injustice” in the death penalty is that whites who are convicted of Murder 1 are more likely (perhaps twice as likely) as blacks who are convicted of Murder 1 actually to be executed.

    • AllSeeingEyeSpy

      I’ve read a few articles about this, general ones on the national level and articles written in North Carolina where I used to live. I don’t believe a single article had the guts to note, anywhere in the story, that whites convicted of murder are more likely to be sentenced to death. One would thing that an article about the racism of the death penalty would note some basic facts about it but apparently investigating that was too much work. Of course I really need not be describing a conversation about ‘racism of the death penalty’ – I could be describing almost any racial issue covered in the news. News reporters might really need to call AmRen whenever they do a racial story if they want such facts. If they contact the NAACP (or are contacted by them), or if they call on the local human services government office to do a story, perhaps they need to also contact the NAAWP. also.

      The death penalty has ‘disparate impact’ upon african americans, seemingly, only because they are so many, many, times more likely to murder.

  • ncpride

    I’ll say it again….. I’m so glad my trip to the polls wasn’t a complete waste of time last election. Good for you, Pat!

  • This must make Matt Smith of CNN sick.

    The, legislation, known as the Racial Justice Act, allowed condemned convicts to use statistical analysis to argue that race played a role in their sentencing.

    Ummmm ….. condemned convicts don’t use statistical analysis.

    • The__Bobster

      Just their enablers, the usual suspects.

  • IstvanIN

    Disparate impact under a different name.

    • Triarius

      It is only disparate impact if it negatively affects minorities. If it affects white men negatively it is progress.

  • The__Bobster

    Execution by quotas? Well, the White man gets screwed again.

    And what about women? Will we have to pull some innocent ones off the street and execute them to even the score?

  • bigone4u

    Repealed? The law should be unconstitutional. Otherwise, when the Dems are back in power, it’s going to be passed again.

  • Triarius

    That’s okay, blacks can still (rightfully) claim that they have the IQ of a retard and not get put to death. Unless they are in Texas.

  • Anne M.

    “Nearly every person on death row, regardless of race, has appealed their death sentence under the Racial Justice Act.”

    “Regardless” of race? As in it was only meant to exist for a certain race in the first place?