(Image source: American Civil Liberties Union)

 

BY NATALIE CHENG

 

ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS

 

A North Carolina judge delivered an historic ruling Friday -- the first under the state’s Racial Justice Act. Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks re-sentenced Marcus Robinson, who was on death row for murdering a 17 year old in 1991, to life in prison without parole. WRAL reports.

 

“Judge Gregory Weeks ruled that he found evidence that race was not only a significant factor in striking down potential jurors in Robinson’s case, but in other cases in Cumberland County and across the state.”

 

Robinson’s defense attorneys used a statistical study looking at the jury selection process in North Carolina capital cases between 1990 and 2010.

 

“They pointed to a Michigan State University study that showed that black jurors were dismissed three and a half times more than any other potential juror in Robinson’s case.”

 

A writer for the American Civil Liberties Union calls the ruling a “remarkable victory over racial bias in the death penalty.”

 

“Today's decision, and the RJA itself, stand as a powerful rebuke to the Supreme Court's defeatist view of discrimination. It signals both that North Carolina will not tolerate a system of capital punishment built on the back of rampant discrimination and that it is possible to take systemic discrimination seriously...”

 

Critics of the Racial Justice Act, however, have argued against it since it was passed in 2009. NPR reported in December of 2011 that 153 of 158 death row inmates in North Carolina, regardless of race, have sought new hearings under the law.

 

“SEN. THOM GOOLSBY: For murderers on death row, regardless of race, it can be seen as a desperate, last-ditch attempt to snag either a get-out-of-jail-free card, or at least a reduction from the death penalty.”

 

Prosecutors in Robinson’s case have 60 days to appeal.

NC Judge Makes First Ruling Under Racial Justice Act

by Zach Toombs
0
Transcript
Apr 21, 2012

NC Judge Makes First Ruling Under Racial Justice Act

 

(Image source: American Civil Liberties Union)

 

BY NATALIE CHENG

 

ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS

 

A North Carolina judge delivered an historic ruling Friday -- the first under the state’s Racial Justice Act. Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks re-sentenced Marcus Robinson, who was on death row for murdering a 17 year old in 1991, to life in prison without parole. WRAL reports.

 

“Judge Gregory Weeks ruled that he found evidence that race was not only a significant factor in striking down potential jurors in Robinson’s case, but in other cases in Cumberland County and across the state.”

 

Robinson’s defense attorneys used a statistical study looking at the jury selection process in North Carolina capital cases between 1990 and 2010.

 

“They pointed to a Michigan State University study that showed that black jurors were dismissed three and a half times more than any other potential juror in Robinson’s case.”

 

A writer for the American Civil Liberties Union calls the ruling a “remarkable victory over racial bias in the death penalty.”

 

“Today's decision, and the RJA itself, stand as a powerful rebuke to the Supreme Court's defeatist view of discrimination. It signals both that North Carolina will not tolerate a system of capital punishment built on the back of rampant discrimination and that it is possible to take systemic discrimination seriously...”

 

Critics of the Racial Justice Act, however, have argued against it since it was passed in 2009. NPR reported in December of 2011 that 153 of 158 death row inmates in North Carolina, regardless of race, have sought new hearings under the law.

 

“SEN. THOM GOOLSBY: For murderers on death row, regardless of race, it can be seen as a desperate, last-ditch attempt to snag either a get-out-of-jail-free card, or at least a reduction from the death penalty.”

 

Prosecutors in Robinson’s case have 60 days to appeal.

View More
Comments
Newsy
www2