Lawmakers Repeal Racial Justice Act

Nov 29, 2011

Lawmakers in Raleigh have voted to repeal a historic law that allows death row inmates to appeal their sentences.

The state senate voted 27 to 17 last night to repeal the Racial Justice Act. The law was passed two years ago amid great fanfare. It allows inmates to appeal their sentences by using statistical evidence to show the influence of racial bias. Republican Senator Thom Goolsby introduced the measure to repeal the Racial Justice Act on the Senate floor.

Thom Goolsby: "For murderers on death row regardless of race, it can be seen as a desperate last-ditch attempt to snag a get out of jail free card or at least a reduction from the death penalty- an attempt to escape that. "

Republican opponents of the Racial Justice Act say it encourages appeals that clog up the court system. But lawmakers who want to keep the Racial Justice Act say it makes the justice system more fair. The House has already voted for the repeal measure, so it now goes to the governor's desk for her consideration.