State Senate President pro tem Phil Berger (R – Rockingham) has a great letter in today’s N&O. In it he takes the paper’s editorial page to task for misrepresenting the Racial Justice Act and for misrepresenting a Twitter statement from his office. The RJA is a bad piece of legislation and every District Attorney in NC agrees that Governor Perdue’s veto of Senate Bill 9 No Discriminatory Purpose in Death Penalty should be overridden! That includes Democratic, Republican, white and back DA’s alike, every last one of them!
From the beginning of his letter:
Here’s why both were ill-conceived: The Racial Justice Act does not, as the editorial claims, require an inmate to “show a pattern of racial bias in prosecutors’ handling of his case.” If only it did.
Regardless of the inmate’s race, or the race of jury members, the RJA allows convicted murderers to successfully claim bias using statewide data unconnected to their case. It makes the case’s evidence, and even statistics from the case’s surrounding area, irrelevant.
Further on he adds:
The RJA, unfortunately, has little to do with race or justice – it’s a backhanded attempt to end the death penalty. (emphasis added)
Interestingly, the editorial opines that the state’s Legislative Building is a “hot-air factory where opponents of the Racial Justice Act seemingly will say anything …” Clearly, it is death penalty opponents, including those who write The N&O’s knee-jerk editorials, who say anything to help North Carolina’s most heinous criminals leave death row.
Go read this excellent letter yourself, than call your state house member, and other state house members and ask them to override the veto. The Senate has already overridden the veto, it is in the state house for action.
By the way 75% of North Carolina voters think the death penalty is an appropriate punishment in certain cases.