A North Carolina district attorney, Rick Shaffer, has quit Gov. Bev Perdue’s Crime Commission, saying she may have “helped unleash violent murderers back into society” by vetoing a bill that would repeal the state’s Racial Justice Act, reports the Charlotte Observer. Shaffer told Perdue, “You no longer have any moral authority to suggest that you strongly support the death penalty.”
Perdue has called the legislature into session Jan. 4 to consider overriding her veto. The Senate has enough votes to override the veto, but it is highly unlikely that the House has the necessary three-fifths majority to overcome it. The Senate bill would have halted the 2-year-old Racial Justice Act, which allows death-row inmates to use statistics to argue that their sentences should be converted to life without parole if they can convince a judge there was racial bias in their prosecution or sentencing. Perdue said in her veto message that she believes in capital punishment but wants to ensure it is administered fairly and free of racial bias.