Title















Site Registration | Find a Copy | Event Calendar | Site Map
The Voice of the Black Community
My business story

We’re in the business of telling the Queen City story with an African-American perspective.www.thecharlottepost.com

Posted by The Charlotte Post on Monday, March 7, 2016

Local

Arguments in Racial Justice cases
N.C. Supreme Court hears from plaintiffs
 
Published Monday, April 14, 2014 9:37 pm
by Stephanie Carrol Carson, N.C. News Service

RALEIGH – It's a waiting game now for supporters and opponents of North Carolina's Racial Justice Act. 

On Monday, the state Supreme Court heard arguments in the cases of four defendants who were the only inmates removed from death row under the RJA. The legislation was passed in 2009, but was overturned four years later. The four inmates' sentences were converted to life in prison without the possibility of parole because they were able to prove race was a factor in their jury selection. Now it's up to the state's highest court to decide if the ruling will hold. 

Charlotte attorney Jay Ferguson represents three of the inmates.

"Having access to the new law was critical in these cases because it allowed us to see more evidence that the defendants didn't have at trial, evidence that had never seen the light of day until this hearing, like prosecutors' notes showing racial discrimination," Ferguson said.

Marcus Robinson, Tilmon Golphin, Quintel Augustine and Christina Walters were the first of approximately 150 North Carolina death row inmates to have their cases heard under the Racial Justice Act. Ferguson said it could take weeks or even months for the court to issue a ruling. While Ferguson said he believes the justices will rule in the inmates' favor, he added it's unfortunate that the RJA isn't available for future inmates to argue that race was a factor in their sentencing.

"Now, once all this evidence sees the light of day, the Legislature decides to do away with the law, instead of trying to address the real issue, and that's the fact that race is playing a role in jury selection in capital cases," he said.

More than 100 other cases are pending that were filed before the law was repealed. After the RJA was passed, Michigan State University conducted an independent study and found that qualified black jurors in North Carolina were more than twice as likely as whites to be removed from juries by prosecutors. 

 

Comments

Leave a Comment


Send this page to a friend

Upcoming Events

read all
1

Pink to Drink Cancer Fundraiser

Find your best pink outfit and join four 24 Hours

1

Lupus Support Group - NC

Latest News

read all

African American NC lawmakers criticize tuition-slashing bill

SB 873 seen as threat to public black colleges

Rhythm, flow and creative energy key for 2016 Top Senior of the Year

Mallard Creek High's Kelsey Mitchell earns honor

Balance key to successful life, academics for Top Senior runner up

East Meck High's Bryana Polk a top achiever