July 3rd, 2012
We regret to report that on Monday, the North Carolina Legislature voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue’s veto of SB 416, a law that essentially guts the Racial Justice Act (RJA) – legislation that had allowed death row inmates to challenge their sentences by using statistics that proved racial bias played a role in their cases. The House voted 72-48 to reject the governor’s veto less than two hours after the Senate’s 31-11 vote on the bill.
Sarah Preston, Policy Director for the ACLU-North Carolina criticized the override, saying “This is a sad day for justice and for North Carolina. By gutting the Racial Justice Act, our legislature has turned its back on the overwhelming evidence of racial bias in our state’s death penalty system. Politicians have decided they would rather sweep disturbing information under the rug than work to ensure that racial bias plays no role in North Carolina’s death penalty.”
(Photo of NC Capitol courtesy of Ron’s View)