Racial Justice Act repeal heard by NC House panel

May. 22, 2013 @ 05:19 PM

Opponents of a measure that would repeal North Carolina's Racial Justice Act for death row prisoners and seeks to restart executions after several years of legal battles say capital cases shouldn't be rushed because a person's life is on the line.

Supporters of the Senate bill heard Wednesday in a House judiciary committee say justice for murder victims and their families have waited long enough and want this legislation to pass.

The Republican legislation in part would end completely a 2009 law backed by Democrats allowing condemned inmates to use statistics and other evidence to persuade a judge that bias influenced their sentences. Successful cases convert their sentences to a life term without parole.

No vote was taken Wednesday, but the bill cleared the Senate last month along party lines.