Governor Vetoes Repeal of Racial Justice Act

Dec 14, 2011

Governor Bev Perdue has vetoed a bill that would have repealed the Racial Justice Act.

The governor says she supports the death penalty but she vetoed Senate Bill 9 because it's unacceptable for racial prejudice to play a role in imposing it. The bill would have eliminated the ability of death row inmates to appeal their sentences based on statistics showing a pattern of racial discrimination. District attorneys across the state campaigned to get rid of the Racial Justice Act. But the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, a group of trial and defense attorneys, support Perdue's veto. Republican leaders in the legislature say the veto ignores public safety concerns. Senate President Phil Berger says lawmakers in his chamber could override the measure. But Republicans probably don't have enough votes to override in the House. The Racial Justice Act was passed two years ago amid great fanfare. It's the second law of its kind in the nation.