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Bill restarting executions advances in NC House

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A bill repealing a procedure for condemned North Carolina inmates to challenge death sentences on racial grounds is headed to the full House.

A judiciary committee approved a measure Wednesday that repeals an act passed by Democrats four years ago. It had been weakened by Republicans last session.

The Racial Justice Act allows a judge to reduce a death sentence to life in prison if race is found to be a significant factor in the original sentence. Four inmates have successfully appealed for life sentences.

Supporters of the original law cite studies concluding racial bias has played a role in death sentences in the state. Those wishing to repeal the law say the measure has created a costly logjam that has been abused.

The bill has already passed the Senate.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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