Republicans in the N.C. House pressed to repeal the Racial Justice Act in the final hours of the legislative session Thursday.
Alamance County Rep. Dan Ingle told the chamber the 2009 law takes the decision in death penalty cases out of the hands of the jurors and the judge and throws it in “the trash can.”
Rep. Rick Glazier pleaded with his colleagues to weight their actions carefully on this bill:
“Race remains this nation’s open wound….and I ask you on the floor that the decision we are about to make goes far beyond whether the Racial Justice Act lives or dies.
We really have a much more core decision to make. That is whether those ragged edges of that wound fester or grow deeper in North Carolina, or whether after many centuries of pain, the open wound in North Carolina will finally be allowed to heal.”
The House voted along party lines to pass Senate Bill 9, but its fate remains uncertain in the Senate.
Sen. Tom Apodaca said late Thursday the bill had been returned to committee to be reconsidered in May. However the session is not over, and pressure from the House Republicans could change Apodaca’s position. Stay tuned.
To hear some of the House debate on the Racial Justice Act, click below: