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NC hearing held on reworked Racial Justice Act

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ALLEN REED
Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (AP) -- Prosecutors and defense attorneys have worked out a few details on how four North Carolina death row inmates will have their sentences reviewed under the reworked Racial Justice Act, but lawyers expect the cases to take years to resolve.

Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks refused a request from prosecutors in Fayetteville on Friday to take himself off the case. The state says he could be a witness, but Weeks said he can't testify about the integrity of prosecutors during previous trials.

The four inmates seek to have their death sentences lessened to life under the 2009 act which allowed appeals if racial bias during the trial is proven.

Lawmakers scaled back that law last month, leaving nearly all the state's more than 150 death row inmates in limbo.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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