GARY D. ROBERTSON
RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- The state Senate agrees that the Racial Justice Act should be repealed completely in North Carolina as one way to restart executions after a more than six-year hiatus.
Senators voted along party lines Wednesday in favor of several changes to capital punishment laws. Some reflect a state court ruling that found doctors are required by state law to oversee executions. The bill also ends the 2009 law allowing death-row inmates to argue for a life sentence on the grounds of racial prejudice.
Bill sponsor Sen. Thom Goolsby of Wilmington says lawmakers have a moral obligation to ensure executions are carried out in accordance with state law. But Democratic opponents argue the Racial Justice Act has determined black residents have been unfairly left off capital murder juries.
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