State house passes bill to gut Racial Justice Act. Tell the state senate not to follow suit.

Late Wednesday, the state house passed a bill that essentially guts the Racial Justice Act. This monstrosity passed with a 72-47 margin after five conservative Democrats defected--enough to override a veto. Apparently the Democrats were assured by provisions that supposedly protect against racial bias, even though the proposed bill would make it all but impossible to use the kind of statistical evidence that allowed Marcus Robinson to get his sentence commuted to life earlier this year.

The bill now goes to the state senate, which passed a similar repeal attempt last fall by a veto-proof margin. But there's still time to head this off at the pass. Tell the state senate to let the Racial Justice Act stand.


Instead of just signing the petition

you should also write to your state senator. Considering starting your email with something like this:

Dear Senator X.

As a conservative who believes in fairness and equality for all citizens, I implore you to leave the Racial Justice Act in force. It is clear that our legal system has consistently tilted toward bias against blacks and other minorities. No honorable conservative should stand for that kind of institutional discrimination.

Did I mention that you should write to your state senator?


Thanks for setting this up. It's just that the email I wanted to send was a little bit different. Never hurts to write twice.

Thanks for all you do.

Living in Chapel Hill

Living in Chapel Hill, or other progressive centers of NC, it can be easy to feel like since your elected officials are already on the right side of many issues there isn't much to do. But anyone can reach out to the leadership of the House and Senate, because they in a sense represent the whole the state.

Phone calls never hurt either, and in some ways they are easier than e-mails, because usually its just 30 seconds on a voicemail, or not too much longer with a legislative aide.
Senator Phil Berger (Rep)
President Pro Tempore
(919) 733-5708

People also can wonder how much difference a call or e-mail makes, but they add up when a lot of people do them. Especially when it's combined with things like HKonJ/POC legislative action day where we show up and talk to legislators in person, or their aides, or at least leave notes at their desks with info about the issues. If they're getting contacted a lot from all angles, it's a good way to get them to pay attention.

Laura Leslie has posted story on about the VETO

Perdue vetoes Racial Justice Act repeal -- again
By Laura Leslie

Posted: 27 minutes ago
Updated: 49 seconds ago

"Gov. Bev Perdue has vetoed Senate Bill 416, the latest attempt by GOP leaders to repeal the state’s 2009 Racial Justice Act."

"It is simply unacceptable for racial prejudice to play a role in the imposition of the death penalty in North Carolina,” said Perdue in emailed veto statement.

"It’s her first veto of 2012, and the second time she’s stopped a bill meant to undo the law."

As my son said on FB, this just proves that the weather in Hell is inversely related to the weather in SE USA. Hell has to be frozen over with all the good news from D. C. and Raleigh today.

Martha Brock