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House Lawmakers Definitively Pass Racial Justice Act Repeal

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

Lawmakers in the state House have given final approval to a bill that would repeal the Racial Justice Act.

It's a law that gives death row inmates the chance to appeal their sentences if they can prove racial bias was a factor in their cases.

Democratic Representative Darren Jackson says undoing that law would be bad for the justice system.

"Many of us that voted for the Racial Justice Act did not do so because we wanted to see an end to the death penalty, as stated yesterday by proponents of this bill, but we voted for the RJA because we wanted the death penalty to be applied uniformly, without regard to race. Be it the perpetrator, the victim, or an individual juror, race should play no part in the process," said Jackson.

Supporters of the bill to undo the Racial Justice Act say there should be other ways to determine whether racial bias is a problem in capital cases.

The measure now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.

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.
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