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Repeal of NC Racial Anti-Justice Act Headed to Gov.

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The North Carolina Senate yesterday approved the repeal of the state's misguided, so-called Racial Justice Act and sent the bill to the governor.  This act is not really about race and is contrary to justice.  It's real purpose is to further bog down the death penalty in unproductive litigation.

The text of the bill is here.  Craig Jarvis has this report for the Charlotte Observer.

The most remarkable thing about studies of race and the death penalty is that the opponents' own studies refute the form of bias of primary concern -- discrimination against minority defendants.  Given the general ability of studiers to find anything they want, this null result contrary to the agenda is truly quite amazing.

With their primary argument refuted by their own studies, they fall back on a claim that the death penalty is discriminatorily withheld in the cases of minority victims.  Even if that were true, though, it would not show that anyone is on death row who does not deserve to be there.  That would show that there were injustices in black-victim cases where murderers who deserve death got off with life.  There is nothing we can do to correct such injustices in the past.  All we could do is make changes to correct it in the future.

But the studies do not really show what they claim.  In study after study, the claimed "race-of-victim effect" drops down into the statistical grass when legitimate factors are added to the mix.  See my Engage article and the London video.

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Has anyone defended this Act based on actual cases, or even on one case (as if that would justify legislation)?

I am fond of this comment to the Observer article, made presumably by a NC resident:

"If you want to use stats go ahead. Only one caveat: if there is a racial bias it should be corrected to make sure more cold-blooded murders die, not less."(mytemp001)

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