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.