A House judiciary panel passed an amendment to the Racial Justice Act narrowing what evidence could be used in an inmate’s appeal of a death sentence. A death row inmate could no longer use statistics in a hearing to argue racial bias is ingrained in North Carolina’s judicial system. The inmate would have to prove a prosecutor was actually racially biased in pursuing a death penalty. Democrats argued against the amendment saying racism still existed in the system and that led to a heated discussion between Rep. Mickey Michaux (D-Durham) the presiding chair Rep. Sarah Stevens (R-Surry). Stevens told Michaux she told him she wanted him to stick to the merits of the bill instead of motives of the majority:
It may be on the House floor this afternoon.