RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has repealed a landmark law that had allowed convicted murderers to have their sentences reduced to life in prison if they could prove racial bias influenced the outcome of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.
Gov Pat McCrory affixed his signature Wednesday.
Both proponents and critics say the repeal of the 2009 Racial Justice Act will restart the death penalty in a state that hasn’t executed an inmate since 2006.
Republicans and McCrory said the law 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.
But Democrats argue there’s plenty of evidence and studies that show those juries were racially biased.
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