Guest My Turn, Your Turn By: James Payne
The recent call by certain prosecutors for the repeal of the Racial Justice Act sends the message that racial discrimination is acceptable in the North Carolina justice system.
The purpose of the 2009 RJA is to take only those convicted murderers on death row, which arrived there as a result of discrimination in their trial and place them in prison for the rest of their natural lives.
The RJA has revealed the following: racial bias exists in North Carolina's system of capital punishment.
Why then would prosecutors, sworn to uphold the Constitution, ask the legislature to repeal the very law that enforces the constitutional prohibition against racial discrimination in death penalty cases?
Repeal means North Carolina will allow race considerations to send men and women to their deaths. Rather than the RJA being an "end run" around the death penalty, repeal of the RJA is an "end run" around the Constitution.
I have represented a variety of clients ranging from white-collar cases to Death Penalty Cases, and everyone has the right to be protected by the Constitution.