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Governor Perdue got some undeserved heat last month for suggesting the General Assembly was out to turn North Carolina into Mississippi. A glance at today’s news and events, however, seems to confirm once again that she was on the money.

From the good folks at Think Progress: “Mississippi set to execute most inmates since 1950’s”

From Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Racial Justice Act changes again in committee.”

From today’s NC House calendar: Senate Bill 416: A bill to amend death penalty procedures (i.e. a bill  to repeal the Racial Justice Act and generally make executions easier to obtain and carry out in North Carolina).

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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.