Race and the death penalty: Arguments ongoing in N Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Four death row prisoners will argue to North Carolina’s highest court that racial bias so infected their trials that they should be resentenced to life in prison as attorneys revive arguments about a repealed law on race and capital punishment.

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday and Tuesday in the cases of four death row inmates who briefly were resentenced to life without parole when legislators approved the Racial Justice Act in 2009. The law was repealed four years later.

Justices also will hear from attorneys for two other death row prisoners whose claims under the act weren’t decided before the law was repealed in 2013.

Under the act, condemned men and women could challenge their death sentences by using statistics to show that race tainted their trials.

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