Tell NC's Governor Racism Is Bad PDF Print E-mail
June 13, 2013

Debbie Biesack and the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, two of PFADP's national board members, and I are among the nearly 400 people who have been arrested recently and spent the night in jail over, in part, the repeal of the NC Racial Justice Act. The Forward Together movement continues to grow, but we need you to speak up right now.

The first bill to repeal the RJA was introduced on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination. Yesterday the NC Senate finalized the repeal of the RJA – on the 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers' assassination.
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RJA Repealed, But… PDF Print E-mail
June 6, 2013

Yesterday the NC House repealed the Racial Justice Act. By now you know how important the Racial Justice Act was both symbolically, North Carolina acknowledging its history of racial bias, and practically, undoing the damage of that same racial bias in the cases of scores of people living on death row.

Let us not be discouraged. No campaign for justice travels a smooth road. Undoing four centuries of government executions is not easy.
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North Carolina Repeals Law Allowing Racial Bias Claim in Death Penalty Challenges PDF Print E-mail
June 5, 2013

By Kim Severson
The New York Times

A law that allowed death-row inmates to challenge their sentences based on racial bias claims was repealed by the North Carolina legislature on Wednesday, paving the way for executions to resume in a state that has 152 people on death row.

The law, the only one of its kind in the country, allowed inmates to use state and county statistics and other material to claim that race played a role in their sentencing. Since the law took effect in 2009, nearly everyone facing execution — not all of them black — has used it in hopes of reducing sentences to life in prison.
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North Carolinians: Keep Working for Justice PDF Print E-mail
May 22, 2013

The bill to restart executions and repeal the NC Racial Justice Act was taken up by the NC House Judiciary Subcommittee B this morning.

The committee did not vote on the bill, Senate Bill 306, but instead allowed time for public comment and debate. A follow-up hearing on the bill has not yet been scheduled.
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ALERT: RJA Repeal Moves to NC House Floor PDF Print E-mail
May 29, 2013

This morning, the NC House Judiciary Subcommittee B voted 9 - 4 in support of repealing the NC Racial Justice Act and restarting executions in North Carolina.

The bill, Senate Bill 306, now moves to the NC House floor, potentially as early as tomorrow.
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Catholic conference praises Maryland's abolishment of death penalty PDF Print E-mail
May 3, 2013

By Richard Szczepanowski
Catholic Standard

Maryland became the 18th state in the country - and the sixth in six years - to abolish the death penalty, as Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a measure May 2 that prohibits capital punishment in the state.

The legislation, which the Maryland Catholic Conference has sought for more than two decades, goes into effect Oct. 1. Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the MCC, called the signing "a joyful moment and long-sought victory."

"This is a very exciting day. We have been waiting for it literally for decades," Russell said. "This has been a priority (for the MCC) for years. The Church has been a leading voice for life in all its stages. And this (repeal) is consistent with our pro-life message."
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