Death Row Racism: The Racial Justice Act Before the N.C. Supreme Court
The North Carolina Racial Justice Act (RJA) permitted inmates to challenge their death sentences by establishing race as a significant factor in their trial. The RJA was repealed in June 2013. In State v. Robinson, the first winning decision under the RJA, Marcus Robinson's death sentence was lowered to life imprisonment after Robinson proved racism in his trial 18 years prior. His case will be heard by the North Carolina Supreme Court on April 14. Jay Ferguson of Thomas, Ferguson & Mullins, LLP, counsel in Robinson, will discuss the case as it heads to the Supreme Court. Shelagh Kenney from the Center for Death Penalty Litigation will discuss racism in sentencing and the RJA. Professors Neil Vidmar and Jim Coleman will also join the panel; both are experts in this field and have worked extensively on Robinson. Sponsored by the American Constitution Society.