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Capital punishment back before NC Supreme Court

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina's highest court is again looking into the state's capital punishment laws.

The state Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments Monday in two cases involving convicted murderers whose trials were scrutinized under the now-repealed Racial Justice Act. The justices may decide whether the four condemned prisoners resentenced to life in prison should have to return to death row.

Marcus Robinson, Tilmon Golphin, Quintel Augustine and Christina Walters originally were sentenced to death, but a Cumberland County judge gave them reduced sentences because he said race played unjust roles in jury selections.

The law was repealed last year. Critics of the law say it was flawed and only extended death penalty appeals further.

North Carolina hasn't executed anyone since 2006 because of litigation.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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