North Carolina Legislature Ends Racial Justice Act
Governor Bev Perdue vetoed Republican efforts to rewrite the act, but the veto was overridden by the assembly.
The landmark legislation allowed North Carolina death row inmates to reduce their sentences to life in prison without parole if they could show their sentences were based on widespread racial bias. The rewritten bill severely limits the use of statistics to prove widespread discrimination. In her veto statement, Gov. Perdue said: “[t]his year’s Senate Bill 416 is not a ‘compromise bill’; it guts the Racial Justice Act and renders it meaningless.” The veto-override passed the House 72-48 and the Senate 31-11.