North Carolina's complex history of racial segregation could be about to get more complex. In 2009, its Racial Justice Act became the first statute in the nation to reduce death row inmates’ sentences to life without parole if they could prove that the sentence was influenced by racial bias.
Now the statue is under threat. A bill to repeal it passed the State House last year and now it looks set to pass the Senate. While the bill wouldn't completely repeal the Racial Justice Act, it would greatly limit an inmate's ability to show bias through race, making the bill redundant. Neil Vidmar is a professor of law and psychology at Duke Law School.