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North Carolina repeals Racial Justice Act, seen as roadblock to executions

- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2013

North Carolina's governor signed into law Wednesday a repeal of a law that gave death penalty inmates the opportunity to seek softer sentences if they proved the court was guilty of racial discrimination.

Gov. Pat McCrory said the repeal now removes the "procedural roadblocks" that have prevented the state from executing the 152 inmates on death row, Raw Story reported. "The state's district attorneys are nearly unanimous in their bipartisan conclusion that the Racial Justice Act created a judicial loophole to avoid the death penalty and not a path to justice," Mr. McCrory said.

American Civil Liberties Union officials condemned the repeal, calling on lawmakers to recognize that the sentencing process unfairly targets minorities.

The law did lead to the removal of four inmates from death row, Raw Story reported. Their sentences were changed to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

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