Senate votes to repeal Racial Justice Act following emotional testimony (video)

The North Carolina Senate voted (27-17) Monday to repeal the Racial Justice Act, sending SB 9 off to Governor Bev Perdue.  The Senate’s approval came just hours after the Judiciary Committee heard emotional testimony on both sides of the legislation.

Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle told legislators that DAs were “fearful” that the two-year-old law had the potential to parole death row inmates.

The family members of crime victims expressed frustration that convicted inmates would even be given another chance to overturn a death sentence.

But others called the Racial Justice Act a “safeguard” to ensure racism was not a factor in an inmate’s trial or sentencing.

Darryl Hunt, who spent 19 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, told the Senators that race remains a factor in North Carolina’s justice system:

“….and if you think that race did not play a factor in my case, and me being arrested, charged, and convicted, then you are not living here in North Carolina.”

Governor Perdue must now decide whether to veto the measure.

To hear a portion of Monday’s emotional Judiciary committee hearing, click below:


  1. Frances Jenkins

    November 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    In my community, this act will be the death of the Democrat Party in NC. A man kills three women and he is using this act to get parole or a new trial. The level of evil in this case is beyond any level of thinking to the mind. What are you people thinking?

  2. S M

    November 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I support the RJA, based on my view, which is encompassed by: “What if Mr. Hunt was sentenced to death?” Until justice fully loses its lens of bigotry, my view will remain.

  3. Frances Jenkins

    November 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Until someonme in your family is raped, murdered or whatever with no regards to race, then you will feel differently.

  4. david esmay

    November 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Frances, parole is not a part of the act, stop repeating it. If racial bias can be proven to have prejudiced the sentence, someone on death row would be given life without parole. Once again, the trailer park conservatives get it wrong.

  5. frances

    November 29, 2011 at 11:29 am

    What is a trailer park conservative?

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