Thursday, August 06, 2009


North Carolina Legislature Takes a Stand for Justice

Yesterday, North Carolina's General Assembly approved making the state the second in the country, following Kentucky, to allow attorneys to use statistical data to demonstrate how racial bias factors into the decision of prosecutors to seek or jurors to impose the death penalty.

The Senate voted 25-18 for a measure that the NAACP and other advocates said was needed in a state that has released three black men from death row. Gov. Beverly Perdue is expected to sign the legislation.

People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, in partnership with other advocates, worked tirelessly to get this bill passed.

Stephen Dear, executive director of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty stated:

This is a great spiritual victory for North Carolina, the South, and our whole country. We have passed through the horrors of Jim Crow, through the racial politics of Jesse Helms, and now we have come to acknowledge that racial bias infects our courts over one of the greatest powers citizens give to government, the power to take human life. This is a victory brought by nonviolent social activism, the indomitable spirit and hard work by thousands of people including a scrappy, underfunded, but disciplined coalition of citizens’ groups, and some legislators who decided to stand empowered and do the right thing despite pressure from their political bosses and all in the face of misinformation and additional pressure from some district attorneys

About 700 clergy throughout North Carolina recently called for passage of the NC Racial Justice Act.

TCASK congratulates our colleagues in North Carolina for this monumental step in ensuring that the death penalty system in that state is applied more fairly. However, Dear acknowledged what abolitionists nationwide already know--that though this is a good step, the death penalty system can never be totally fair nor accurate and should be repealed.
Comments :
The right thing despite pressure from their political bosses and all in the face of misinformation ..
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