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Today’s editorial in the Wilmington Star-News nails it. The only thing it’s missing is a scathing attack on Thom Tillis and Phil Berger for apparently embracing such reprehensible action:

“Prosecutors in North Carolina should remember that they owe allegiance to justice, not to their conviction record. It is unconscionable for anyone sworn to upholding justice to push for a law that could block justice from being done.

Yet that is exactly what North Carolina’s district attorneys are trying to do – again. They want the N.C. General Assembly, which is bent on having year-round sessions, to repeal the Racial Justice Act when they return to Raleigh on Nov. 27. They are likely to be supported by the new legislative majority; no Republicans voted for the 2009 bill. But repealing it would constitute an injustice. Read More

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The state Supreme Court issued an opinion today on a rather complex and obscure matter related to the process used in the adoption of the state’s execution “protocol.” The decision serves to highlight once again the fact that the death penalty has not been carried out in the state in more than five years.

This got me thinking: If death penalty proponents like state Rep. Paul Stam are right, this should have produced a spike in crime and killings given the supposed deterrent effect of executions.

Then I looked at the statistics. Read More

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In the days leading up to September 17th, a couple of friends in New York City mentioned something vague about a plan for social justice activists taking action in the city. I didn’t think much of it at the time, or even on the 17th and 18th—I just kept working hard on the issues most pressing here in North Carolina. Then, time passed, the action continued, the weekend came, the numbers in New York City’s financial district swelled, and I saw those videos of peaceful protesters being kettled and pepper-sprayed on a sidewalk September 24th.

At that moment, something changed for me.

I had just witnessed first-hand the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s September 6th arrests of undocumented students and their supporters at an “Undocumented and Unafraid” Rally. At that point, I realized OccupyWallStreet might be related to my life in North Carolina, and I needed to understand more. Read More

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Many on the modern far right would have us believe that human nature and society are essentially immutable — that we are all slaves to social “laws” bequeathed by Milton Friedman and/or the Almighty and there is nothing we can do to collectively, intentionally improve the world (other than to get out of the way of “the invisible hand”).

Fortunately, reality continues to intervene and remind us of myriad ways in which forward-thinking humans continue to intentionally and collectively improve the world. Read More