Protect the Racial Justice Act!
UPDATE:: On June 28, North Carolina's Governor, Beverly Perdue, vetoed this legislation that would have essentially repealed the state's Racial Justice Act (RJA), saying, "Willfully ignoring the pernicious effects of discrimination will not make those problems go away."
North Carolina is in danger of passing legislation that would gut the Racial Justice Act (RJA)!
The RJA allows death row inmates to challenge their death sentences if they can prove that race was a factor in their sentencing. It also allows people accused of capital crimes to challenge a prosecutor's decision to seek the death penalty if they can prove that race played a role in that decision.
We know that racial prejudice impacts the criminal justice system and the application of the death penalty. The RJA is the only real protection against someone being executed because of race. As a nation, we need to show that we care about these protections.
On Friday a group of prominent civil rights leaders started a petition on the signon.org platform to urge the North Carolina Senate, the House of Representatives, the Governor and the North Carolina Council of State to stand firm in protecting civil rights and reject the legislation.