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NC Legislators Override Race Bias Death Row Veto

Legislators in North Carolina say death row inmates that want to pull the race card to get off death row can kick rocks with no socks.

North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature voted on Monday to override Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue’s veto of a law that will limit the ability of death-row prisoners to use statistical evidence of racial bias to challenge their sentences.

The move effectively negates the hot-button Racial Justice Act, which was signed into law in 2009 by Perdue when Democrats controlled the state’s General Assembly. The law directed judges to reduce a death sentence to life in prison if defendants could prove that racial bias factored into their punishment.

Lawmakers who viewed the landmark law as an attempt to undermine the death penalty wrote new legislation to gut it, only to see Perdue veto the rollback last week on the grounds that it rendered the original law meaningless.

But legislators on Monday gathered the three-fifths majority needed in the House of Representatives and Senate to override Perdue’s veto. They had fallen short in January of enough votes to override a gubernatorial veto of similar rewrite legislation passed in 2011.

Proponents of Monday’s move said statistical evidence alone was insufficient to prove racial discrimination in jury selection, or to overturn a death sentence.

In the words of our current Vice President, this is a “big f***in deal,” Bossip readers.

So, what say you?  Should death row inmates be able to have their sentence reduced if they can prove racial bias was involved in the sentencing? Or should they do the time for the crime as originally sentenced?


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