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This morning it’s the Gaston Gazette:

“Even if one accepts that there is moral justification for executing criminals under some circumstances, the flaws inherent in any human system charged with handing out death sentences cannot be overlooked.

Government simply can provide no assurances that, as long as it is executing people, innocent people will not die. Read More

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The good folks at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation released the following explanation of today’s Racial Justice Act ruling in Cumberland County

April 20, 2012 Ruling on Lead NC Racial Justice Act Case 

  • The lead case applying the historic and ground-breaking NC Racial Justice Act (RJA) concluded today with a judicial finding of race discrimination in the operation of the death penalty in North Carolina.
  • North Carolina Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks found that prosecutors deliberately excluded qualified black jurors from jury service in death row inmate Marcus Robinson’s case, in Cumberland County, and throughout the state.
  • As directed by the law, Read More
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Some good folks at Duke Law School are hosting the inaugural “North Carolina Law and Policy Symposium” tomorrow and Friday.

The event is entitled: “Realizing Criminal Justice Reform Together.” The symposium focuses on pressing criminal justice topics such as preventing and rectifying wrongful convictions, reintegration and the pardons system, the “school-to prison pipeline,” post-conviction reforms, and effective legislative advocacy techniques.  Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP will deliver the keynote address on Friday at 12:30.

The event commences Thursday evening and runs through Friday afternoon. It’s free and open to the public but an RSVP is appreciated. 

Click here for more information. Even if you can only be there for a session or two, it looks like a great event.  

 

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On the day of remembrance of the most infamous state-sponsored execution in human history, there are more and more encouraging indications that our country is making progress in the age-old effort to bring about the demise of government-overseen violence.

Yesterday, the Connecticut state senate voted to abolish the death penalty in the Constitution State. The House and Governor are expected to follow suit in the near future and thereby make it the fifth state in as many years to take such a step.

Meanwhile, here in North Carolina, Read More

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The committee he’s appointed is stacked with Racial Justice Act opponents, but it appears that House Speaker Thom Tillis has backed down slightly from his usual m.o. (i.e. “my way or the highway”).

Next Friday, in the aftermath of Tillis’ failed efforts to repeal RJA, the newly established House Select Committee on Racial Discrimination in Capital Cases will meet at the Legislative Building in Raleigh to discuss the matter.

Though it has often not been the case with the conservatives running the General Assembly (see, for example, the kangaroo sessions in which the marriage discrimination amendment was rammed through), let’s hope there’s an actual full and fair hearing.

Perhaps if there is, RJA opponents will be able to explain to all of us exactly just what the great harm is that’s resulting from examinations of compelling data like this one.