With End of NC Racial Justice Act, Will Executions Resume?


With the repeal of North Carolina's Racial Justice Act after four years on the books, it's uncertain how quickly the state will resume executions or what the legacy will be for the law that proponents say was intended to rid capital punishment of racial bias, the Associated Press reports.

Experts and advocates say the issue of racial equality in the criminal justice system will remain salient, especially as more states abolish the death penalty, which opponents say was the goal of the Racial Justice Act. The law allowed murderers to use state and local data to argue that racial bias in court proceedings and jury selection tainted their convictions, earning them life sentences instead of lethal injection. Opponents argued that the law allowed most of the 153 death-row inmates to challenge their sentences regardless of their race, creating a logjam that amounts to a moratorium on executions.

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