The 2009 Racial Justice Act


The North Carolina Racial Justice Act of 2009

…     prohibited seeking or imposing the death penalty on the basis of race. The act identified types of evidence that might be considered by the court when considering whether race was a basis for seeking or imposing the death penalty, and established a process by which relevant evidence might be used to establish that race was a significant factor in seeking or imposing the death penalty. The defendant had the burden of proving that race was a significant factor in seeking or imposing the death penalty, and the state was allowed to offer evidence to rebut the claims or evidence of the defendant. If race was found to be a significant factor in the imposition of the death penalty, the death sentence would automatically be commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.[1]

North Carolina General Assembly Repeal attempts[edit]

Under pressure from a group of 43 district attorneys, who expressed opposition to the act citing the clog of the court system in the state, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill by a 27-14 vote on November 28, 2011, that would have effectively repealed the Racial Justice Act.[2] However, on December 14, Governor Bev Perdue, a Democrat, vetoed the bill, saying that while she supports the death penalty, she felt it was “simply unacceptable for racial prejudice to play a role in the imposition of the death penalty in North Carolina.”[3] The state legislature did not have enough votes to override Perdue’s veto.

Major revision (2012)[edit]

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a major revision of the law in 2012 authored by Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake). The rewrite “severely restricts the use of statistics to only the county or judicial district where the crime occurred, instead of the entire state or region. It also says statistics alone are insufficient to prove bias, and that the race of the victim cannot be taken into account.” The bill was vetoed by Gov. Perdue, but this time, the legislature overrode the governor’s veto.[4]

Repeal[edit]

The North Carolina General Assembly voted to effectively repeal the entire law in 2013 and Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed the repeal into law.[5]

Appeals under act[edit]

On April 20, 2012, in the first case appealed under the Racial Justice Act, the then-Senior Resident Superior Court Judge in Cumberland County (Fayetteville), Judge Greg Weeks, threw out the death sentence of Marcus Raymond Robinson, automatically commuting his sentence to life without parole. Robinson contended that when he was sentenced to death in 1994, prosecutors deliberately kept blacks off the jury. Robinson’s lawyers cited a study from Michigan State University College of Law indicating that prosecutors across North Carolina improperly used their peremptory challenges to systemically exclude qualified black jurors from jury service.[6][7][8]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up ^ Senate Bill 461, General Assembly of North Carolina, Session 2009
  2. Jump up ^ Bufkin, Sarah. “North Carolina General Assembly Votes To Repeal Landmark Racial Justice Law”. Think Progress: Justice. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  3. Jump up ^ Jarvis, Greg (2012-12-15). “Perdue veto saves death-row appeal law”. The News & Observer. 
  4. Jump up ^ News & Observer
  5. Jump up ^ Charlotte Observer
  6. Jump up ^ “Judge: Racism played role in Cumberland County trial, death sentence converted in N.C.’s first Racial Justice Act case”. The Fayetteville Observer. April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  7. Jump up ^ “Racial bias saves death row man”. BBC News (BBC). April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  8. Jump up ^ Zucchino, David (April 20, 2012). “Death penalty vacated under North Carolina’s racial justice law”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 21, 2012.

Resource …wiki

Minimum Wage …. Joni Ernst is Wrong


By

Raising the Minimum Wage Will Help Iowa Families, But GOP Senate Candidate Joni Ernst Opposes It

We’ve written about how a number of cities and states around the country have proactively worked to raise their minimum wage, benefiting millions of hard-working Americans. There are other areas, meanwhile, where the debate over whether or not to raise the wage has become a political focal point. Iowa is a perfect example: in the deadlocked race for U.S. Senate between Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state senator Joni Ernst, the contrast between the candidates couldn’t be clearer. Braley proudly supports an increase in the minimum wage, while Joni Ernst has stated she does not support a federal minimum wage at all and that “$7.25 is appropriate for Iowa.”

A new report and poll from CAP Action outlines just how out of touch Ernst is for Iowans and in helping create an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. While 300,000 Iowans would see their wages go up and 80 percent of Iowa voters say they could not support their household on Iowa’s minimum wage, Ernst continues to call a federal minimum wage increase “ridiculous.” This extreme position would hurt hardworking Iowans and the overall economy. Here are just a few reasons why, from the report:

  • Failing to raise the minimum wage keeps money out of workers’ pockets. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would increase wages for 306,000 Iowans by a total of $430,462,000. Opposing a minimum-wage increase denies these workers a much-needed—and much-deserved—raise.
  • Failing to raise the minimum wage keeps Iowans poor. A $10.10 minimum wage would reduce Iowa’s nonelderly poverty rate by more than 9 percent, from 10.9 percent to 9.8 percent, and would lift more than 26,000 Iowans out of poverty.
  • Failing to raise the minimum wage hurts women in particular. 57.8 percent of Iowans who would benefit from a minimum-wage hike are women. By opposing raising the minimum wage, Ernst is disproportionately hurting women.
  • Failing to raise the minimum wage hurts the economy. Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would boost the Iowa economy by $272,483,000. Not raising the minimum wage prevents Iowa from growing its economy.
  • Failing to raise the minimum makes it harder for Iowa workers to make ends meet. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, a family of three in Des Moines needs $52,362 per year to meet minimum standards of living.

In addition to the report, CAP Action also releases a poll of Iowa voters on how they feel about these issues. Here are some key findings that illustrate how out of touch Ernst is with Iowans:

  • 80 percent say that they could not support their household on a minimum-wage salary, which is about $15,000 per year. So much for Ernst’s proclamation that $7.25 is “appropriate for Iowa.”
  • 57 percent believe that there should be a federal minimum wage, disagreeing with Ernst’s position on the matter.
  • 53 percent support raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

BOTTOM LINE: Ernst’s radical position on the minimum wage threatens the economic security of Iowans. At a time when too many families in Iowa and across the country are still recovering from the Great Recession, we need elected officials who will act to rebuild the economy so that it once again works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

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Meet Mark Pryor


running against tom cotton … a Republican

 

I know no candidate is perfect, but if they are running to represent you as a Public Servant there are certain mandatory things they should all live up to … and one of them being that oath they take, yet is seemingly being tossed aside by Republicans

 

more information and a link to Contribute to the campaign !!!

The GOP’s plan to take control of the Senate runs straight through Arkansas. They need to pick up six seats this fall, and they’ve set their sights on my colleague, Mark Pryor.

The thing is, the people of Arkansas like Mark Pryor, and with good reason. He stood with farmers when his opponent decided to play politics with the farm bill. He voted in favor of the health care reforms that have helped hundreds of thousands of people find affordable health insurance.

But that’s not going to stop the RNC and special interest groups from dumping millions of dollars into the Arkansas Senate race. Karl Rove’s group, Crossroads GPS, just announced Arkansas would be one of the targets in a $10 million plus ad blitz.

Mark needs our help. His campaign is trying to raise $60,000 by the end of May to fight back. Can you chip in $5 to help him stay strong?

CBO ~~ September 2014


cbologo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.R. 4007, Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014

H.R. 5026, Fish Hatchery Protection Act

 

H.R. 3522, Employee Health Care Protection Act of 2014

 

Monthly Budget Review for August 2014

 

H.R. 4701, Tick-Borne Disease Research Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014

 

S. 1217, Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014

H.R. 2673, Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act

Slack in the Labor Market in 2014

 

Killed in front of her children


Let Hotel Phones Dial 911 Easily: Help Enact Kari’s Law

  By Hank Hunt
                                                Winona, Texas

On December 1, 2013 Kari Rene Hunt was brutally murdered in front of her children ages 9, 4 and 3. She was killed by her estranged husband whom she was intending to divorce. She agreed to meet him at a local motel to leave the children with him for a short visitation.

Her estranged husband, Brad Allen Dunn, apparently ambushed her in the motel room and cornered her in the restroom. During the struggle and resulting death of Kari, her oldest daughter, age 9, (name with held for privacy) attempted to dial 911 from the motel room phone. She followed instructions as taught by her mother on the way to call for help but she was never instructed that in some hotels and motels you must first dial a “9” and then 911.

We are attempting to ensure that any person needing police, EMS or the Fire Department at any hotel or motel location may be able to dial the numbers 911 and receive emergency response. In a panic, any under age child, or for that matter anyone in an emergency situation should be able to depend on dialing 911 from any phone in the United States and receiving assistance.

We pray the lawmakers in our Congress and Senate hear the cries of Kari and her children and enact a law requiring all hotel and motel chains, including all “Mom & Pop” locations have all phone systems updated to accept 911 as an emergency call and be connected automatically to emergency dispatch and to begin using the number “8” for an “outside” line or update all phone systems to the e911 systems.

We also would like to ask that Wyndham Hotels, which is the parent company of Baymont Inns and Suites where this incident occured, lead the way in the industry by updating the antiquated phone systems still used in some of their hotels. Seconds count and when a 9 year old little girl is mature and brave enough to attempt to dial for help, she should be answered. We understand the cost implications and know that E911 has been a requirement for a few years, but only a handful of states require it.

We ask the United States Congress to make it a requirement for all hotel and motels operating the United States and offer conversion assistance where needed. Please help make this “Kari’s Law”.