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NC bill pushed to restart executions heard again

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A legal procedure initially approved by North Carolina Democrats four years ago for condemned inmates who argue racial bias led to their death sentences is close to being repealed by Republicans at the General Assembly.

A House judiciary committee prepared more debate and a possible vote Wednesday on a measure that would eliminate the Racial Justice Act and make other changes to how the death penalty is carried out. The bill already has cleared the Senate. Supporters say it would restart executions – there hasn’t been an execution in North Carolina since 2006.

The Racial Justice Act allows a judge to reduce a death sentence to life in prison if race is found as a significant factor in a convicted murderer receiving the sentence. Four such reductions have already occurred.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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