Archives

Uncategorized

In case y’all missed this yesterday, the Daily Beast has an interesting list of the nation’s 20 most tolerant cities. It even includes a photo from the mall behind the state Legislative Building on the front page!

Though haters and right-wingers will no doubt deride the list, isn’t it interesting to see how closely tolerance, well-being and desirability seem to mesh? Wonder if the list will change after the marriage discrimination vote on May 8?

Uncategorized

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

Uncategorized

 

Send in the mirrors.  Obviously there’s a shortage, judging by the lawmakers and district attorneys who acknowledge racial bias in the justice system in neighboring counties, but never in theirs.

The North Carolina Racial Justice Act, which simply allows defendants in capital trials to present another piece of evidence that race was a significant factor in their case, is up for a concurrence vote in the Senate today.  

Senators are being asked to restore the bill’s original intent of securing fairness in the ultimate punishment. It strips out amendments inserted by Senators eager for the state to resume executions, and whom still voted against the bill even after their amendments were added. 

The Racial Justice Act has been subjected to a cruel, years-long political game among legislators wary that their votes might make them vulnerable in an election year.  But more than most questions put before our lawmakers, this bill is about life and death judgments. Lawmakers have long ignored racial prejudices and assumptions that are typically unspoken and infinitely present in capital sentencing.

In the last year, three innocent black men were released from death row. It’s bad enough that those men served a combined 41 years in prison on death row, but they would have been executed without the state’s court-imposed moratorium on the death penalty.

Today blacks make up 20 percent of the state’s population but 60 percent of those on death row.

It’ll take Senators willing to put away the politics for a day, and who have the conviction to take a hard look in the mirror before voting, to push percentages like that into the history of another era.

 

 

For more information on the NC Racial Justice Act – Senate Bill 461, please visit www.ncmoratorium.org.

NC Racial Justice Act Video 

To contact a Senator to urge support for the bill, link to

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1576/t/6273/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27713

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Carolina Justice Policy Center is a partner group of the NC Coalition for a Moratorium on Executions.

Death Row Exonerees Levon 'Bo' Jones, Jonathon Hoffman, Glen Edward Chapman & Prison Exoneree Darryl Hunt

Death Row Exonerees