(SF Gate via AP) Gov. Beverly Perdue on Thursday vetoed legislation that rolls back a landmark North Carolina law allowing death row inmates to prove their sentence resulted from racial bias.
The Racial Justice Act directs judges to reduce a sentence to life in prison if they find race was a significant factor in a convicted murderer receiving a death sentence or in the composition of jurors hearing a case. Only Kentucky has a similar law.
“As long as I am governor, I will fight to make sure the death penalty stays on the books in North Carolina. But it has to be carried out fairly — free of prejudice,” Perdue said in a statement.
The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the bill by margins that would appear to be enough for an override of the Democratic governor’s veto. Legislative leaders said they would try to push the legislation into law over Perdue’s effort to block it.
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