RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov Pat McCrory has signed into law a repeal of a landmark act that allowed convicted murderers in North Carolina to reduce sentences to life in prison if they could prove racial bias.
McCrory signed a bill Wednesday intended to restart the death penalty in a state that hasn’t executed an inmate since 2006. The Racial Justice Act of 2009 was already weakened last year by restricting the use of statistics to prove prejudice.
The bill has bitterly divided Democrats and Republicans.
McCrory said in a statement that the original law was so flawed that it’s allowed nearly every person on death row to appeal unanimous jury decisions regardless of race.
Democrats argue studies and 2012 court decisions under the act prove institutional bias exists in jury selection and procedure.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)