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Legislature overrides death penalty bill veto

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The Legislature is cancelling Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of legislation rolling back a state law giving North Carolina’s death row prisoners a method to seek a reduced sentence because of racial bias.

The House voted Monday to override Perdue’s veto last week of changes in the 2009 Racial Justice Act. The vote came about 90 minutes after the Senate voted to override.

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. Now the scaled-back version is the law.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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