In 2009 North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act. The law allows death-row inmates the ability to appeal their sentence arguing that racial discrimination was a factor in that sentence. I’ve long argued that the death penalty is not a viable tool in our criminal justice system for just that reason. The sentence is not applied uniformly and it disproportionately impacts minorities and the poor.
Because of this I oppose the Death Penalty and I applauded the passing of the law.
Now, however, state Republicans are meeting to discuss how they plan to proceed in overriding a governor’s veto that would have repealed much of this very important law:
RALEIGH, N.C. — When the Republican-led Legislature considers Wednesday whether to cancel Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto and scrap the Racial Justice Act, the outcome of the override session will depend again on whether a handful of the governor’s fellow Democrats side with the GOP.
The Republicans have it wrong. They were wrong to oppose the bill in 2009, wrong to send it to the Governor’s desk in 2011 and are wrong now.
The idea that the government would discriminate, especially in this matter, is an assault on the senses. Hopefully the Democrats in the House stand firm and do not change their vote to assist the veto override.