The Los Angeles Times weighs in on North Carolina’s revised Racial Justice Act, which survived Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto earlier this week:
North Carolina’s original law was impractical and possibly unfair. As we pointed out in a March editorial, the high dismissal rate for black potential jurors isn’t necessarily an indicator of racial bias — if African Americans are more distrustful of the police and less supportive of the death penalty than whites (as polls seem to indicate they are), they may have been dismissed because of their beliefs rather than their race. And it doesn’t seem very reasonable to overturn a sentence for an individual, who may have received a completely fair trial, just because you can show that other trials may have been influenced by racial prejudice.
But if the original law went too far in addressing the racial bias problem, the new one doesn’t seem to go far enough. The discrepancy in sentencing between cases in which the victims were minorities and those in which they were white is deeply disturbing, and it’s a problem that isn’t confined to North Carolina. Since 1990, studies have consistently concluded that convicted killers are far more likely to get the death sentence if their victims were white; by forbidding courts from considering a victim’s race, North Carolina is willfully ignoring a mountain of evidence that the death penalty isn’t administered fairly because of racial biases and perceptions.
The LA Times answer —as you can probably imagine –is to do away with the death penalty altogether.Read full article » No Comments »
…No tear gas, but a fair amount of confusion as G’boro’s city championship swim meet moves indoors to the taxpayer-funded Aquatic Center:
The housewarming did not go smoothly, however.
* Races were delayed because of a bottleneck at the staging area in the Special Events Center next door — a problem eased when organizers created separate staging areas for girls and boys.
* Parents who had never been to the aquatics center were lost. Some arrived late, caught in lines of cars waiting to pay $5 to park.
* There was confusion about who was allowed to go where in the natatorium, with swimmers downstairs and spectators upstairs.
“We planned and planned and planned,” a grim-faced Gary Flynn said after untangling the knot of people in the staging area.
An old swimmer myself, I always hated moving indoors to N.C. State’s hot, steamy natatorium for Raleigh’s championship meet and always envied the fact that G’boro’s meet was outdoors. But I realize it’s going to be 100 degrees today……Read full article » 2 Comments »