Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Judge Holds Hearing On Racial Justice Act Cases

A Cumberland County judge held a hearing today for four death row inmates are learning how their cases will proceed under the Racial Justice Act.

Gurnal Scott: The four want their sentences reduced to life without parole. Lawyers say resolving these cases could take years. Lawmakers changed the Racial Justice Act requiring more than just statistical evidence to overturn a death sentence. David Weiss with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation says the only case reviewed so far under the act meets that standard.

David Weiss: In Marcus Robinson's case where Judge Weeks did find that race was a significant factor in the selection of juries, he found statistical evidence supporting that conclusion and Judge Weeks also found evidence in addition to statistical evidence.

Almost all the state's death row inmates are seeking reviews under the act. Today, Judge Weeks also denied a prosecution motion to recuse himself from future Racial Justice Act cases.