Murderers Get Another Reprieve
Since the resumption of the death penalty allowed by the United States Supreme Court in the late 1970’s two-thirds of those actually executed in North Carolina have been white. And of the 130 claims, 47 of them were made by white defendants. Now that is ironic. But it is exactly what we predicted before the Act passed.
Meanwhile the true effect of the Racial Justice Act (which has little to do with race and nothing to do with justice) is to effectively impose another moratorium on the imposition of the death sentence for first degree murder. For the last year (while we were waiting for the motions to be filed) and for the next two years (while the courts sort them out) no one will be executed for their crimes. (See The Herald Sun article by UNC Professor Emeritus Elliot Cramer, “I believe Racial Justice Act serves no useful purpose”)
No one will actually get relief under the act because actual racial discrimination has been illegal for decades and those with actual evidence that they have been discriminated against have been able to present those claims in court without this act. It is shameful that 61 House Democrats and 28 Senate Democrats voted for this unjust law.
Senate Republican Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said, “The true travesty of this law is that it removes from consideration the facts surrounding the murder in question and places in the hands of academics rather than judges and juries the decision as to whether a murderer’s heinous act merits society’s harshest punishment.”
House Republican Leader Paul Stam (R-Wake) said, “Justice delayed is justice denied. The families of these murder victims deserve better.”