NC GOP seeks sharp limits to racial justice law

EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina lawmakers are proposing legislation to all but erase the ability of convicted killers to prove racial discrimination led to their death penalty conviction.

A state House panel on Wednesday narrowly cleared a bill that would strip much of the Racial Justice Act, which passed the Legislature in 2009 when it was under Democratic control.

Kentucky is the only state with a similar law.

Republicans who took over the General Assembly last year have sought to void the law, which allows death row inmates to use statistics and other evidence to try proving racial bias influenced their sentences.

GOP lawmakers have failed to override Gov. Bev Perdue's veto and are now trying to sharply limit what opponents complain was a backdoor effort to end the death penalty.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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