by Bob Geary
The North Carolina House and Senate have approved a bill that would effectively repeal the Racial Justice Act, which allows death-row inmates to appeal their sentences and receive life without parole if they can prove that race was a significant factor in their sentence.
Whether Perdue's veto will be upheld in the House (it won't be in the Senate, apparently) seems to depend on getting three House Democrats who voted for SB-416 to turn around and vote no on an override.
The ACLU, the Carolina Justice Policy Center and the N.C. Coalition for a Moratorium are sending around nearly identical alerts this afternoon about the urgency of contacting Democrats William Brisson, Dewey Hill and Bill Owens. Here's how it came across from George Reed at the N.C. Council of Churches:
The fate of the Racial Justice Act probably rests with the three representatives listed below. The Governor's veto could come at any time and the override vote could happen shortly thereafter, so please don't delay in making these contacts, and make the contacts even if you are not a constituent of any of the three. Thanks.
We need your help!
Five of the Democrats in the House of Representative sided with those who say that 20 years of discrimination against African American jurors is no longer enough to prove racial discrimination in death penalty cases.
You know that's wrong, and it guts the Racial Justice Act!
Click here to email Rep. Brisson, Rep. Hill, and Rep. Owens, and ask them to support the Racial Justice Act by voting to sustain a veto of S 416.
Have an extra minute? Follow up with a call to each of the three Representatives.
Rep. William D. Brisson: 919-733-5772
Rep. Dewey L. Hill: 919-733-5830
Rep. Bill Owens: 919-733-0010
Thanks for your continued support of the Racial Justice Act!