Per WRAL :
A North Carolina judge on Thursday commuted the sentences of three death row inmates to life in prison after finding that race played a factor in jury selection for their cases.
Lawyers for Christina “Queen” Walters, Tilmon Golphin and Quintel Augustine argued at a hearing in October that statistics and handwritten notes from prosecutors show racial bias in jury selection.
Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks agreed with their motions for re-sentencing under the state’s Racial Justice Act, saying “the court finds no joy in these conclusions.”
Earlier this year, an inmate became the first to have his sentence commuted to life without parole under the provisions of the 2009 law, which Republicans in the state legislature have sought to repeal since its approval.