McCrory signs repeal of Racial Justice Act - WRBL

McCrory signs repeal of Racial Justice Act

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Gov Pat McCrory's signature Wednesday repealed a landmark law that had allowed convicted murderers to have their sentences reduced to life in prison if they could prove racial bias influenced the outcome of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.

RELATED STORIES

 RELATED LINKS

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC Senate gives tentative OK to state budget

    NC Senate gives tentative OK to state budget

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:11:41 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    The new state budget provides more money for kindergarten through college classrooms, raises for public school teachers and a boost for vouchers for children attending private and religious schools.
    The new state budget provides more money for kindergarten through college classrooms, raises for public school teachers and a boost for vouchers for children attending private and religious schools.
  • Audit: Medicaid's NCTracks fails to meet milestones

    Audit: Medicaid's NCTracks fails to meet milestones

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:33:29 GMT
    An audit raises further questions about North Carolina’s Medicaid payment system.
    An audit raises further questions about North Carolina’s Medicaid payment system.
  • NC Senate sees lawmaking continue into November

    NC Senate sees lawmaking continue into November

    North Carolina lawmakers want to continue their election-year legislative session past November's elections.
    North Carolina lawmakers want to continue their election-year legislative session past November's elections.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.