NC changes racial bias law for condemned inmates

Jul 2, 2012, 10:19 PM

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Changes are taking place to a North Carolina law that gave death row inmates a new way to argue racial bias influenced their sentences.

The Republican-controlled Legislature in North Carolina overrode the Democratic governor’s veto of the changes Monday.

The Racial Justice Act was designed to let condemned inmates challenge their death sentences by using statistics to show race tainted their trials.

The changes to the law include a new time limit on what statistics can be used and says the figures alone cannot prove race was a significant factor in a death row inmate’s conviction or sentence.

Lawmakers who supported Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto say the changes gut the law and will make it impossible for condemned inmates to prove discrimination.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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NC changes racial bias law for condemned inmates