Final House approval could come later this week for Senate Bill 416, legislation that critics say will gut the state’s landmark Racial Justice Act. The new bill requires that judges have evidence beyond basic statistical analysis before deciding that race was a factor in an inmate receiving a death sentence.
Rep. Larry Womble, one of the chief supporters of the 2009 Racial Justice Act, told the House chamber it was a lie to suggest inmates using the RJA would be freed from prison if the appeal was successful.
Senate Bill 416 won tentative approval (72-47) in the state House on Tuesday and is on Wednesday’s calendar for a third reading. To hear more from the floor debate, click below.