NC prosecutors want Racial Justice Act struck down (Video)

“The Racial Justice Act was a Trojan Horse,” offered Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby at Wednesday’s news conference. “It was, in reality, a permanent moratorium on the death penalty in North Carolina.”

North Carolina’s prosecutors are almost unanimous in calling on legislators to repeal a law that allows defendants on death row to appeal their sentences by showing evidence of racial bias.

A group of them held a news conference in Raleigh Wednesday to shine a spotlight on their request that the state Senate strike down the Racial Justice Act.

In a letter sent Monday, the prosecutors said that if the 2009 law isn’t repealed, it will severely hamper the justice system’s ability to handle major cases.

They say the law is too broad and only factors in race – not the circumstances of a case. There are currently 157 inmates on death row in North Carolina. The prosecutors say all but five have filed to have their cases reviewed under the Racial Justice Act. Fifty-two are cases where the defendant was white, the victim was white, and the jury was all white.


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