North Carolina Lawmakers Nearly Repeal ‘Racial Justice Act’ | Talking Points Memo

After heated debate, a sharply divided North Carolina House on Thursday voted along party lines to repeal the Racial Justice Act, a law that allows death row inmates to challenge their sentences on the basis that race had played a role in determining their punishment. However, the move fell short by a single vote in the Republican-dominated Senate.North Carolina was in 2009 only the second state after Kentucky to have passed such a law. In a state where a black man is more than twice as likely to be sentenced to death if at least one of the victims is white, according to a Michigan State University study, some lawmakers consider the Racial Justice Act to be landmark legislation.

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