"NC high court to review sentences changed under Racial Justice Act," is by Anne Blythe of the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Racial Justice Act was repealed by state lawmakers almost a year ago, but questions about whether the short-lived legislation will have any life after its death go before the state’s highest court on Monday.
The N.C. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the cases of the four prison inmates who had their death sentences converted to life without possibility for parole under the act.
Though the justices will weigh arguments specific to the plights of Marcus Robinson, Tilmon Golphin, Quintel Augustine and Christina Walters – the inmates whose sentences were changed – the rulings could have an impact on cases of other death row inmates who filed racial-bias challenges before the repeal of the landmark act.
All but a few of the 153 death row inmates have cases pending in the court queues. Their challenges contend that racial bias had a role in their fate, and they plan to cull from studies showing, among other things, that African-Americans are systemically excluded from serving on death-penalty juries.
Earlier coverage of North Carolina's Racial Justice Act begins at the link. Also available, more recent news from North Carolina.