make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Gov. Perdue vetoes death-row racial bias bill

READ MORE:

By GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue has vetoed a bill that would have essentially repealed a 2009 law designed to address alleged racial bias in death penalty cases.

Perdue announced her veto Wednesday of the measure that would eliminate key provisions of the Racial Justice Act.

Perdue also signed the 2009 bill into law. It says a judge must reduce a death sentence to life in prison without parole if he determines racial bias was a significant factor to impose the death sentence.

Prosecutors who pushed the repeal said the act would clog up the court system with new appeals, creating a permanent moratorium on capital punishment.

Perdue's decision means she must call the Legislature back to Raleigh by Jan. 8 to consider an override.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

Well

how unexpected. She's starting early to curry favor with the voters whom she views as her only chance for re-election.

If you use a gun, knife or other instrument to end someone's life; and you do so with premeditation, that's first degree murder. Unless you are ruled insane, there's really no defense.

Unless, you pull out the race card. In which case, you merely add another step to the appeal process.

Ultimately, if you did the deed, you need to pay the price. Regardless of your ethnic background.

If being African American is the sole basis for this appeal process, what about white, anglo-saxon protestants? With the porous borders, wasps are becoming the new minority in this state.

I

get all tingly just thinking of 2012...and GETTING RID OF HER!

I am in agreement with you

I am in agreement with you on this. The last two occupants of our Governor's Mansion have been horrible. North Carolina deserves better.

Wow! I was waiting for some

Wow! I was waiting for some good news as Christmas approaches.

Governor, your actions in vetoing this bill are courageous. Thank you for exempting me, as a citizen and resident of this State from having the blood of a wrongfully executed prisoner on my hands.

I truly believe that America should think about leaving countries like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia behind; and permanently end the death penalty.

Great, another bleeding

Great, another bleeding heart liberal who thinks the criminals deserve better treatment than their victims. If a person takes a life in cold-blooded murder, he no longer deserves to walk among the living.

Bleeding Heart

Capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime. If it was then how do you explain why our murder rates are so much higher than the European countries or any other progressive, civilized country? People know they can get the death sentence and they do it anyway. Also, before I hear this argument, after all the appeals and lawyer fees and everything else, it costs more to execute(kill) someone than it does to imprison them for life. Don't take my word for it, do some research before you blow up this board. I would hate to think we would kill someone for economic reasons anyway. Capital punishment is barbaric and is nothing more than state supported murder.

I said nothing about it

I said nothing about it being a deterrent to crime. It is a just punishment for murder.

Deterrent.

If it doesn't stop people from killing, why execute people unless you get some kind of perverse pleasure out of it?

Bleeding heart liberal,

Bleeding heart liberal, hardly. Rather than waste the time composing and paraphrasing for you right-wingnuts who really fail to function as anything better than Limbaugh parrots I submit:

June 14, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- "Better 10 Guilty Men Go Free than to Convict a Single Innocent Man"

Article provided by Paul Cramm
Visit us at www.kansascity-criminal-attorney.com

The essence of this quote forms the very cornerstone of the system of justice that separates the United States from virtually every other civilized nation. Think about the presumption of innocence; the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt; the requirement of a unanimous jury verdict. These core elements of our system of criminal justice all flow directly from the premise that the wrongful conviction of a single innocent person is ten times worse than a guilty person going unpunished.

Many of us are instinctively patriotic; downright "'jingoistic" about the protections afforded us by the Bill of Rights: the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure of our person or effects; the right to remain silent if accused of wrongdoing; the right to be represented by counsel; the right to a trial by jury.

We take off our hats and hold our hands over our hearts when we hear the national anthem at a sporting event. We get misty eyed at images of our enlisted men and women returning from active duty. We hang our flags on Memorial Day, Veteran's Day the Fourth of July and Presidents Day.

How many of us, however, grumble disparagingly under our breath during the evening news when a photograph of a suspect is displayed during a report of a criminal investigation, based on nothing more than the suspect's race, ethnicity or socio-economic status? How many of us could truly be fair and impartial jurors in a criminal case after we have seen or read wholly unsubstantiated news accounts of the alleged incident? How many of us refrain from commenting about sensational and salacious tidbits spread about a criminal case we have seen or heard about on the news? How many of us would honestly and sincerely honor the Defendant's Constitutional Presumption of Innocence?

If you grew up in an upper middle class (or better) family and neighborhood, there may not be anyone in your immediate or extended family who has ever even been accused, let alone convicted, of a criminal offense. It's possible that someone in your family got a DUI on his or her way home from the annual company Christmas party, or maybe someone in your family got caught with a misdemeanor amount of marijuana while in high school or college. But the reality is that true, firsthand experience with the criminal justice system is rare among most middle and upper class registered voters: the people most likely to be called for Jury Duty.

We live in truly amazing times. An event can occur in New York and someone in Los Angeles can log on to a near "real time" live video feed. We can call from San Diego to Maine on our cell phones, from our cars, and tell each other the events of our day. News media like CNN and MSNBC provide round-the-clock coverage of national and international events. Cable networks provide real-time coverage of trials across the nation. All of this provides us access to information that may be deemed wholly unsubstantiated, unreliable and inadmissible at the ultimate trial of a sensationalized crime.

Thus, can we be "good jurors" in today's day and age? Are we able to decide cases based solely on evidence admitted into court, regardless of what we may have seen or heard about a case from local and sometimes national or even international news media? Often times being fed dramatized information from the day of the crime, which happened long before trial was scheduled? Moreover, do we all still agree that it truly is "Better that 10 guilty men go free than to convict a single innocent man" or has it become too easy to ignore the reality of wrongful conviction; as long as it isn't happening to our own neighbors?

The Innocence Project has now had some 100 death sentences overturned based upon post-conviction evidence. According to their study of the first 70 cases reversed:

• Over 30 of them involved prosecutorial misconduct.
• Over 30 of them involved police misconduct which led to wrongful convictions.
• Approximately 15 of them involved false witness testimony.
• 34% of the police misconduct cases involved suppression of exculpatory evidence.
• 11% involved outright evidence fabrication.
• 37% of the prosecutorial misconduct cases involved concealing exculpatory evidence.
• 25% involved knowing use of false testimony.

Keep in mind; these statistics involve Death Penalty cases wherein the State sought to literally kill the innocent person who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

How many of those 100 innocent, wrongly accused citizens were convicted in the media before jury selection ever began in their trial? How many were wholly deprived of their Constitutional Presumption of Innocence? If we allow ourselves to make watershed decisions far "upstream" about whom is and is not deserving of the protections afforded by our Constitution, our entire system of justice becomes a hollow shell with a predetermined outcome.

I recently had the privilege of meeting Dennis Fritz at local book club meeting to discuss his book "Journey toward Justice." Dennis was charged along with Ronald Williamson for the murder in Ada Oklahoma that prompted John Grisham to write "The Innocent Man." In Dennis' book, he describes in a way that only first-hand experience allows what it was like to be accused, arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned for 11 years for a crime he did not commit. The fact that OUR esteemed system of "justice" is responsible for what happened to this innocent man is chilling. We all need to remember that our system of justice is what truly separates us from all other civilized nations. The way we as a community treat those accused of crimes defines us as a nation. We must treat those accused of heinous crime with blind and impartial fairness as much for them as we do for our own integrity.

Article provided by Paul Cramm

Liberal

I have never seen so many Born-again Christians so eager to kill someone in my life. If you are a Christian you follow the teachings of Jesus, it I am correct, which I am. When did Jesus get so bloodthirsty? Some body please tell me where in the NEW TESTAMENT, Jesus said it was alright to kill someone.Don't quote me Old Testament "Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth", we're talking about Jesus and the New Testament here. What happened to faith, love, and forgiveness? How can you be a Christian and want to kill someone? Please quote me Chapter and verse when you find it. If you can't and you call yourself a Christian, SHUT UP.

I'll Try

In your previous post, you wanted chapter and verse from the NEW Testament that justified capital punishment. Yet you quote “Thou shalt not kill” from the Ten Commandments, in the OLD Testament, to justify your own viewpoint.

The Ten Commandments were given in Exodus 20:1–17. However, in Leviticus 20-27, punishments were established by God for those who broke those commandments. God knew there would be people who wouldn’t follow His commandments, so He also established punishment for those people. In the Bible, the book of Leviticus comes after the book of Exodus. Punishment comes after breaking The Law. So, apparently, God believes in capital punishment. And since Jesus and the Father are One, therefore Jesus must believe in it also. After all, Jesus did say that He did not come to change The Law, but to fulfill it.

Jesus is all about faith, love, and forgiveness, but there is also a price to pay for sin (breaking God's laws). God will have a terrible Judgement Day, when He will commit a form of capital punishment, and Jesus will be at His side. But the good news is that people don't have to chose to die this way. They can repent (turn away from their sins), and believe in the Lord Jesus, and spend eternity with God. The choice is theirs.

I'll try too

So you think it is alright for man to play God and kill other people? And that is a big supposition about Jesus being in favor of capital punishment. What church do you belong to? Don't you think it's a little hypocritical to be a Christian and want to kill someone? That's not what I was taught in church.

In Genesis, God did give man

In Genesis, God did give man the authority to execute murderers. The Bible teaches that man is responsible for his actions, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Guest238, sometimes great

Guest238, sometimes great wisdom comes from outside. Gandhi really hit a proverbial nail on the head when he said "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

And Also

Mohandas Gandhi said, “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”

But my favorite religious intolerance quote by far is from Thomas Jefferson:

“I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.”

Christ was perfect, Christians are not. And we should never expect them to be so.

Perdue

Why are you equating Gov. Perdue's actions with born again Christians? The Bible is clearly against murder and hatred. Are you saying that all soldiers are killers, even though they are defending others?

Perdue

I am saying what I said in response to 2020 if you know how a reply works, which you must since you are responding to me. If you can read and speak English then you know what I said. I'm giving you my understanding of the New Testament teachings and asking once again if someone can enlighten me where those verses are that say it is alright to kill someone. Even the ten commandments says "Thou shalt not kill" and I don't remember any exceptions being listed. If you have been baptized then why are you defending killing for any reason?

Capital Punishment

First, Jesus never condemned capital punishment. In fact, capital punishment was unjustly carried out against Him. If capital punishment were looked upon with disdain by Jesus, He had ample opportunity to speak out on the topic. In Luke 23:41, the repentant thief said He and the other offender had justly received the death sentence, but Jesus was guiltless. "And we indeed [justly]; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss." Jesus could have said to the repentant thief, "It does not matter what you have done, capital punishment is wrong. It should be done away with." But, he did not say that when he had a golden opportunity to say it.

There is a second incident that can shed some light of Jesus' view of capital punishment also in John 8:1-11. This passage deals with the Pharisee's sting operation relating to the adulterous woman. It was designed to trap Jesus and make Him reject the Law God had given to Moses or the Roman Law of the day. Jesus did neither, but in fact invited those without sin to throw the first stone (commit capital punishment). John 8:7 says, "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." This is hardly a rejection of capital punishment. Christ did recognize a set-up when he saw one though.

Human government is ordained by God. If you have any doubt about that just look at Romans 13:1-7. What powers does God sanction for government?

THE POWER TO TAX -- (6-7)
THE POWER TO ENFORCE LAWS -- (2-3)
THE POWER OF PUNISHMENT FOR EVIL (even capital punishment)

Note 1 Peter 2:13 before you look at Romans 13:4.

"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well."

Romans 13:4
"For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."

The sword is a symbol of the governments power to use capital punishment. Dr Charles Ryrie says "it may be said that Romans 13:4 does teach the right of the government to take the life of a criminal, although what cases is not specified."

There is another incident that involves the apostle Paul that makes it even clearer. Turn to Acts 25:1-12. The key verse in this section is Acts 25:11, "For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Ceasar."

What Paul is saying is very clear. He says, "if I have committed a crime deserving of the death penalty then I will not fight it. But I have not and so I appeal to Ceasar."

Capital punishment is established in Genesis 9:6, developed in the Mosaic law and reaffirmed in the New Testament. Capital punishment IS Biblical. It is for today.

Capital

Very well written, but, still does not show where Jesus said it was alright to kill someone. All of those quotations are great, but, did you ever hear of metaphors? I'm surprised that as scholarly as you sound, you are interjecting your own interpretations of the Bible. Who said to turn the other cheek?

Is that all you got?

My post was placed on this board at 3:27pm, and you posted back to me at 3:49pm. Just a little over 20 minutes to read my post, search the scriptures I gave you, contemplate and respond. It doesn't seem you gave a sincere, thorough, and well thought out reply. If you had wanted to really know the truth, you would have spent time researching and meditating on God's Word, and asking HIM for the interpretation. In fact, I sincerely doubt you are a Christian at all.

It's obvious, no matter what I say, your mind is set, even when I give you chapter and verse as you requested. I'm convinced that even God Himself couldn't convince you otherwise. And if He can't, I certainly won't try. I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 says that to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven, including a time to kill. But I'm sure you will disregard that also, since it doesn't fit into your narrow tunnel vision of things as you see them, a.k.a. "The world according to Guest238".

"To turn the other cheek" is a highly metaphoric phrase. (Didn't you ask me if I ever heard of metaphors?) It isn’t to be taken literally, but instead means that there is benefit to not using aggression when it can be possibly avoided. This is the stance of people like Gandhi and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Instead of sanctioning violent overthrow of the status quo, they advocated nonviolent resistance. The many sit-ins, walkouts, and deliberate acts of passive civil disobedience were viewed as a means of turning the other cheek since no violence was offered in this disobedience. Instead people quietly stood for what they believed, taking the full slap of the law on the other cheek without engaging in violence. This is quite different than this verse being taken to mean that God doesn't believe in capital punishment so it should not be allowed.

All

Who are you to question someone else's faith? So, at least I don't try to use religion to try to justify killing another human being. You have a very warped sense of Christianity if you think Jesus thought it was OK to kill someone. You can call me all the names you want and I will turn the other cheek. I don't think it meant a season to kill someone else, maybe a fatted calf or a sheep but certainly not another human being.
May God have mercy on your soul if your heart is so full of hate.

“Courageous” Defense of Murders Act

And just think, you get to pay for health care for all these dirt bags (oops, I mean poor misguided souls wrongfully forced to pay for their crimes) on death row.
You may not have blood of the innocent on your hands (obviously I’m excluding abortion, Weather Underground, and UN-forgiven genocidal dictators), but these murders (oops, was that too judgmental) sure do.
But talk solace in your holier-than-thou, sanctimonious, liberal hogwash. You now get to support them indefinitely.
And go check your facts, not Hollywood. There is no recorded incidence of a proven innocent person executed in America. But in your small liberal mind we’re no different than terrorist sponsoring nations or nations that execute minor offender solely for their organs.

If it weren't for the

If it weren't for the diligence of groups who take up the defense of the wrongly imprisoned, there would be many executed while being innocent. They are being released from prisons all over the country on a weekly basis because attention was FINALLY drawn to the problems in our "justice system" when Troy Davis was wrongly executed.

There should be a federal moratorium on the death penalty until we fix the problems inherent in the system.

I don't think that the

I don't think that the results garnered by "Project Innocence" are the imaginings of Hollywood. I rarely do this, Erl, but I am going to dismiss your assertion that there is no "recorded incidence of a proven innocent person executed in America" as nonsense.

If you are able to find it in your heart to forgive me for interrupting your perfect discontinuous rant, you will find, should you desire to take the time some interesting discussions here:
http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001000

My own thoughts on capital punishment are that we join the rest of the civilized world in repudiating this practice. By the further way, I am also what most would term "pro life" but not perfectly so either. I do favor an exception to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest and the medical necessity to save the mother's life, so spare me that argument in your retort.

Erl, share somethin' with me. Who are you a bigger fan of: Limbaugh or Savage???

Hey! The missing evidence in

Hey! The missing evidence in the Kelner case!

He really was innocent!

Frank, Kelner went to the chair two years ago.

Well, uh...

Sorry Jed

but the chair has not been used in years. It's called lethal injection.

But what does that have to do with a race based appeal? And how many appeals, under this statute, actually resulted in a wrongly convicted murderer going free?