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NC Senate OKs override of death penalty bill veto

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The North Carolina Senate has voted to cancel Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of a bill that rolled back a state law giving death row prisoners a method to seek a reduced sentence because of racial bias.

Senators voted Monday to override Perdue’s veto last week of changes in the 2009 Racial Justice Act. The 31-11 vote was well above the 60 percent required. The House still must vote to override before the new bill becomes law.

The Racial Justice Act directs judges to reduce a sentence to life in prison if they find race was a significant factor in a convicted murderer receiving a death sentence or in the composition of jurors hearing a case.

Many district attorneys and Republicans said the original law went too far.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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