Thursday, June 20, 2013

North Carolina reinstituting death penalty executions

NBC/Reuters this morning is reporting North Carolina's governor, Pat McCrory, “hoping to resume executions in his state, on Wednesday signed the repeal of a law that has allowed death row inmates seek a reduced sentence if they could prove racial bias affected their punishment."

The Racial Justice Act, the only law of its kind in the United States, had led to four inmates getting their sentences changed to life in prison without parole after taking effect in 2009. McCrory, a Republican, said repealing the law would remove the "procedural roadblocks" that had kept North Carolina from executing anyone since 2006 despite there being 152 people on death row.

The article also reported that “The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina criticized the repeal on and accused state leaders of ignoring widespread evidence of systemic racial bias. Additionally, the repeal applies retroactively to cases with pending Racial Justice Act claims, a factor certain to result in additional legal wrangling, Mark Rabil, director of Wake Forest University law school's Innocence and Justice Clinic in Winston-Salem, said.‘To me, it's a violation of due process. I don't really know what the legislature thinks they've done with our money other than buy a lot more litigation.’”

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