State lawmakers have overridden the governor's veto of a bill that waters down the Racial Justice Act. The Act, passed in 2009, allows death row prisoners to challenge their sentences based on statistical evidence of discrimination. The new bill will limit the time frame and scope of statistics that inmates can use to challenge their sentences. Republican House Majority Leader Paul Stam thinks that's reasonable.
Paul Stam: It's time to go forward with real justice. That is justice that considers the fact that race may have played a part, and has all of those three remedies still available. But does not rely on statistics alone from other places, other times, other actors, other defendants.
Democratic lawmakers opposed to the bill say it will slow down efforts to eliminate racism in the criminal justice system.