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When it comes to the rights of North Carolina prison inmates, few if anyone knows more than the lawyers at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services. Today’s the group’s executive director, Mary Pollard, sent a letter to Governor Perdue debunking the notion promoted by some prosecutors that some inmates who had their death sentences overturned by the application of the Racial Justice Act could somehow end up out on the street (the Act mandates that the sentences of such individuals be converted to life in prison without the possibility of parole).

According to Pollard:

“The possibility that a death row inmate might become parole-eligible as a result of the Racial Justice Act  should not be of concern to you as you make your decision on whether to veto the legislative repeal of the Act.”

Click here to read Pollard’s letter.  

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In case you missed it, here is the North Carolina NAACP’s official statement on the state Senate’s remarkably offensive action this week:

A Strange Spirit: Legislative Racism, Classism and Regression Rather Than an Agenda of Legislative Progress and Prosperity for All North Carolinians

Statement by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II – President, North Carolina NAACP

 The General Assembly is required by law to follow the North Carolina Constitution which states in Article 1, Section 2 “all political power is vested in and derived from the people…and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.” They should be upholding Article 1, Section 19 of the North Carolina Constitution, which ensures “no person shall be denied equal protection of the laws; nor shall any person be subjected to discrimination by the State because of race, color, religion, or national origin.” The Constitution calls us to a higher place where a “divide and conquer” strategy has no place.

Despite the noble call of our Constitution there is a strange spirit in the halls of the North Carolina General Assembly. Read More

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The state Senate Judiciary I Committee just sent out a notice that it would take up the bill to repeal the Racial Justice Act (with the dishonestly named substitute that was rammed through the House this summer) next Monday at 2:30 pm.

Happy Holidays, folks! What’s next? A bill to repeal the  First and Fourth Amendments scheduled on Chritmas Eve?

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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