Bringing The World Home To You

© 2023 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

State Senate Votes To Repeal Racial Justice Act

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt
N.C. General Assembly

State senators have voted to repeal a historic law passed in 2009 that allows death row inmates to use statistical evidence of racial bias to challenge their sentences.

Senate Bill 306 requires the state Attorney General to keep lawmakers updated on the status of death row appeals. It's sponsored by Republican Senator Thom Goolsby of Wilmington.

"It also eliminates the Racial Justice Act, which I would contend to you is nothing but an end run around on capital punishment in North Carolina. The bill repeals RJA while reaffirming the various multiple avenues of appeal available to ensure a fair hearing, in any cases of race discrimination, claims and capital cases," says Goolsby.

The measure passed 33 to 14 along party lines. Democratic lawmakers protested the bill, saying the Racial Justice Act helps prevent death row inmates who are innocent from being sentenced to death.

Last year, the General Assembly passed legislation limiting the use of statistical evidence under the act. The bill now goes to the House.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
Related Stories
More Stories