Law
6:00 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Republican Lawmakers Plan Racial Justice Veto Override

Republican legislative leaders are expected to try to override the governor's veto of a measure that would water down the Racial Justice Act. The Act, passed in 2009, allows death row prisoners to appeal their sentences using statistical evidence of discrimination.

Lawmakers passed a measure this session that civil rights advocates say weakens the act. The governor vetoed that bill. And now Republicans need at least four Democrats to break ranks in the House to override the veto. Civil rights advocates are urging lawmakers not to override the measure. Reverend William Barber heads the state NAACP.

William Barber: For Democrats to be going along with them against their governor who has had the courage, the integrity and the constitutional sense to stand up and say it's wrong is a bad day. We are calling on them not to sustain this veto and let the RJA stand as good law giving the courts the tools to address the pattern and practices of racism.

Republican House Majority Leader Paul Stam has said too many death row prisoners are filing appeals under the law.