[F]or the same reason that I signed the Racial Justice Act two years ago: it is simply unacceptable for racial prejudice to play a role in the imposition of the death penalty in North Carolina.
That's North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue this morning explaining why she vetoed the repeal of the state's Racial Justice Act. (See here.)
The law permits folks who've been sentenced to be murdered by the state to present evidence to a judge that the sentence was racially motivated. If the judge agrees, the sentence is reduced (if that's the right word) from murder while in prison to death while in prison, that is, from the death penalty to LWOP.
North Carolina and Kentucky are the only states with such law.
Does it matter? Ask Duane Buck down in Texas if he thinks a racial justice act might have made a difference to him?