Racial Justice Act Amended – or Gutted – over Governor’s Veto

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Efforts to keep the Racial Justice Act intact failed this year. Just two days after Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed SB 416, the senate and the house voted to override her veto. The amendments are now law, and the battle against racial prejudice in North Carolina’s justice system shifts gears; RJA supporters are now on the
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North Carolina Legislative Session Over, Crime Bills a Mixed Bag

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North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue signed several bills into law earlier this month that the state’s criminal defense attorneys have been following. The new laws will change penalties, for the most part. One new crime also enters the books. One of the most important but, perhaps, least surprising laws brings North Carolina into line with
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Pretrial Release Program Cuts Could Help Few and Harm Many

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As the General Assembly hands the Racial Justice Act bill over to the governor, the North Carolina House could be debating another bill that would radically change the state’s pretrial release programs. The bill’s sponsors claim the programs are unnecessary; its opponents claim the programs provide vital services not just to people facing criminal charges
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Keep Moving Over: General Assembly Expands Highway Safety Law

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North Carolina drivers will soon have to move over more often or face a $250 fine. The General Assembly voted this week to expand the Move Over law to include utility and road maintenance crews. The penalty will remain a fine; the driver will not be cited for a moving violation. The Move Over law
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Racial Justice Act in General Assembly’s Crosshairs – Again

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As predicted, the North Carolina House of Representatives is considering a proposal that would radically alter the Racial Justice Act. As we have discussed, the act allows inmates and defendants sentenced to death to use statistics to prove that their trials were tainted by racial bias. If the court is persuaded, the offender’s sentence is
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