Uncategorized

Procedural trick used to speed Racial Justice Act repeal?

(Cross-posted from Legislative Watch).

A House Judiciary subcommittee debated the proposal to repeal the Racial Justice Act this morning. You can watch a video of the entire committee meeting at WRAL.com.

Not surprisingly, the enthusiasm of the supporters for speeding the death machinery of the state vis a vis people who would otherwise be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole is fairly sobering to watch. This, combined with the arguments of a bevy of pro-death penalty prosecutors that the bill is somehow about “public safety,” provides a bit of a surreal feel to the event.

On the more uplifting side, however, are the comments of Tye Hunter, Executive Director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. Hunter does a masterful job of debunking the argument advanced by some prosecutors that the law is prohibitively expensive. Senator Floyd McKissick also does fine work in reminding the committee of the stakes involved in death penalty decision-making.

One “inside baseball” aspect to the whole episode that may escape the general public is a procedural trick that supporters used in an apparent effort to make final passage of the bill easier. Rather than taking up the scheduled bill (House Bill 615) that dealt with the subject of repeal, Committee Chair Paul Stam instead took up a Senate bill on a completely different subject that has already passed the Senate and then substituted the RJA repeal language.

As a practical matter, this accomplishes at least two things: 1) it obviates the need for the RJA to pass the House by the June 9 “crossover” deadline, and b) it makes it possible for the Senate to pass the RJA repeal with merely a single “concurrence” vote and bypass the traditional committee process.

All in all, another “ends justify the means” bit of hardball politics from the supposed champions of open and transparent government running the North Carolina House.

Check Also

This simple graph sums up NC’s “tax the poor, feed the rich” tax system

In case you missed it on Monday, the ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The Cape Fear River is damaged, contaminated by decades of human malfeasance, negligence and ignoran [...]

Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble appears to be violating the state public records law and is [...]

This morning, the state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the pivotal case of Silver, et al. [...]

Duke Energy has been fined $156,000 for 21 illegal seeps from coal ash basins at its Allen, Marshall [...]

These are extraordinary times in the American experiment with representative democracy. In Washingto [...]

Public education in North Carolina has its share of challenges, not the least of which has been the [...]

The post Time to come clean appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Tax Day in 2018 in North Carolina presents an opportunity to make sure our tax code allows us to mee [...]

Now hiring

NC Policy Watch is now hiring a Managing Editor – click here for more info.