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Groups challenge Racial Justice Act repeal

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Opposition groups and some North Carolina lawmakers are voicing their disapproval of a bill they say will kick-start executions in the state.

Groups such as the Center for Death Penalty Litigation met with some state lawmakers at a news conference Wednesday to denounce a bill to repeal the Racial Justice Act. The 2009 law originally allowed death-row inmates to use statistics and other evidence to argue for a life sentence on the grounds of racial prejudice.

The General Assembly passed legislation limiting the use of statistical evidence last year. The full repeal of the law is included in a bill that also makes changes to align with a state Supreme Court ruling requiring doctors to oversee executions.

The Senate is scheduled to debate the bill Wednesday. A vote will likely follow.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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