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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A bill repealing a procedure for condemned North Carolina inmates to challenge death sentences on racial grounds is headed to the full House.

A judiciary committee approved a measure Wednesday that repeals an act passed by Democrats four years ago. It had been weakened by Republicans last session.

The Racial Justice Act allows a judge to reduce a death sentence to life in prison if race is found to be a significant factor in the original sentence. Four inmates have successfully appealed for life sentences.

Supporters of the original law cite studies concluding racial bias has played a role in death sentences in the state. Those wishing to repeal the law say the measure has created a costly logjam that has been abused.

The bill has already passed the Senate.

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