North Carolina Repeals Its Death Penalty Racial Bias Law
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

be newsBad news, for some of the 152 people sitting on North Carolina’s death row:

The state legislature on Wednesday repealed a law allowing death-row inmates to appeal their sentences based on claims of racial bias, the New York Times reports.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said he will sign the repeal, despite passionate cries from justice and civil rights groups, who cited the number of innocent black men exonerated and the state’s history of racial tension between whites and blacks.

Since its adoption in 2009, the law has been used by nearly every death row inmate — not all of them African-American — to have their sentences reduced to life in prison. The law had been criticized in the state’s increasingly conservative legislature for being a “carte blanche solution” to racial bias in death penalties.

“A white supremacist who murdered an African-American could argue he was a victim of racism if blacks were on the jury,” argued Republican Rep. Tim Moore, who voted in favor of the repeal.

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron Morrison is an award-winning New York area-based multimedia journalist with a B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University. Aaron uses video, audio, photography, the web and social networks to tell captivating stories across all media platforms. Over the last year, Aaron has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Daily Record (Gannett) in northern New Jersey. Before that, he spent the spring of 2010 as the temporary legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press' statehouse bureau in Trenton, N.J. In his down time, Aaron enjoys the company of his friends and extended family. He is a fan of culinary arts and dreams of having a home kitchen so tricked out that Julia Child turns over in her grave.