Raleigh NC – Carolina Justice Policy Center Summary On NC Racial Justice Act

Remember the history of lynchings in NC!  Remember the innocent most recently released from Death Row in 2008, all Black men- Bo Jones, Glen Chapman, Jonathon Hoffman!  Remember the racist trials in the South and NC – Darryl Hunt’s, Ronald Cotton’s!  Remember advocates like Rev Finlator who fought for change! Remember the racial prejudices and assumptions that groups make toward each other! Remember that justice for so many relied on our lawmakers and that they did not let us down last night because of the hardwork of volunteers and coalitions throughout the state!

A landmark piece of legislation, the NC Racial Justice Act, has finally passed in NC that will help to fight racism in our criminal justice system. This highlights what can happen when diverse groups come together to impact change.

Last night the NC Racial Justice Act was sent to the Governor!  RJA had an international following and a historic grassroots network of supporters in NC.  The world was watching last night because RJA is landmark legislation in need of duplication. 

This bill would have never passed without the hard work of the bill’s sponsors, Sen Floyd McKissick, Rep Larry Womble, Rep Earline Parmon, Rep Pricey Harrison, Rep Paul Luebke, House Speaker Joe Hackney (his fabulous team – Laura Devivo, Bill Holmes, Robin Johnson) and so many others who sacrificed so much.  Special thanks to Rep Deborah Ross, Rep Bill Faison, Rep Phil Haire, Rep Angela Bryant, Rep Larry Hall who helped sponsors maneuver RJA through numerous committees.

Most importantly, the NC General Assembly and the state of NC witnessed the force of the NC Legislative Black Caucus (led by Rep Alma Adams) that locked arms from both chambers last night to win this bill.  Senate Black Democrats marched to victory together with ranking member Senator Charlie Dannelly as their mouthpiece.  They were also joined by progressive Senators Ellie Kinnaird, Dan Clodfelter, Doug Berger and Martin Nesbitt who worked hard for a concurrence vote last night.

So many people helped to win this bill because they recognized its need.  Many more lawmakers made tremendous sacrifices for their work last night in spite of warnings from their Caucus’ leaders.  But, ultimately they were led by their own faith ‘to do the right thing and vote for change.’.

We Did It because of You! So many people and groups coming together led to this victory! Specials thanks to the NAACP (led by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II), HK on J Coalition members, the NC Black Leadership Caucus (led by past chair Can, the NC Legislative Black Caucus, Blueprint NC members and all of our Moratorium Coalition’s partners’ staff and grassroots network!!!

Thank you for a job well done!  The lives saved are forever grateful!  My life has been enriched and my spirit blessed because of this fight!  Thanks to my friend Donice Harbor for being my footsteps on this journey in both her life and recent passing! She opened doors to now Governor Beverly Perdue like no one else could.

-Charmaine Fuller Cooper, Executive Director
Carolina Justice Policy Center

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Tarboro NC – You Damn Right It Makes Sense

It is so sad that there are some folks who don’t want to see change.

What in the hell is wrong with these folks who have a problem with the Department of Social Services moving downtown? What in the hell do they think the people are going to do destroy the town?

Hold up, wait a minute, just who in the hell do they think these people are? A bunch of animals or something? This goes to show the mentality of some folks here in Edgecombe County. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

County makes convincing argument

"It can’t do anything but help," Carmon said.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Leonard Wiggins said, "It might help revive downtown. The sales taxes might be increased.

"It was a good opportunity for us. The timing was good. We think we made the right decision." (The Daily Southerner)

Tarboro NC – Foundation receives $138,885

A local program that helps introduce offenders back into society received a big finance boost from the state this month.

The N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety awarded $138,885 to the It Starts With "U" Foundation, with Edgecombe County serving as the administrator of the funds. (The Daily Southerner)

Rocky Mount NC – Perdue appoints Dickens

Joyce M. Dickens of Rocky Mount has been appointed to the North Carolina Community Development Council by Gov. Bev Perdue.

Dickens is president of the Rocky Mount-Edgecombe Community Development Corp. She is chairwoman of the N.C. Association of Community Development Corporations, past chair of the Edgecombe County Board of Elections and a member of the Rocky Mount Redevelopment Commission. Dickens received her master’s degree in community and economic development from Southern New Hampshire University. (The Daily Southerner)

Forida – FL-Senate: Martinez to Resign

Florida Sen. Mel Martinez (R), who had previously announced he would not seek reelection in 2010, has now decided to resign his seat — a move that will allow Gov. Charlie Crist (R) to appoint a replacement to fill the remaining months of Martinez’s term, according to a source familiar with the decision. (The Washington Post)

 

Raleigh NC – North Carolina Legislature Passes Historic Racial Justice Act

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chris Fleming

(202) 463-2940 x. 1021

(202) 631-0929

cfleming@naacpnet.org

NORTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE PASSES HISTORIC

RACIAL JUSTICE ACT

BECOMES FIRST STATE IN SOUTH TO ALLOW DEATH ROW INMATES TO CHALLENGE RACIAL FAIRNESS OF THEIR SENTENCING

(Washington, DC) The NAACP announced today the North Carolina State Legislature passed the North Carolina Racial Justice Act. This Act, the first of its kind, will allow inmates sentenced to death, to challenge the racial fairness of their sentencing.

“This is a monumental victory for the NAACP, the residents of North Carolina, and for the innocent men and women sentenced to Death Row. The passage of the Racial Justice Act makes North Carolina the first state in the south to provide this type of remedy and should be a model for other states throughout the nation,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Under the stewardship of our North Carolina State Conference President, Reverend William Barber II, this important piece of legislation now lies in the hands of Governor Purdue, and we urge her to sign it and allow the 98 people on death row in North Carolina the chance to get a fair trial.”

The North Carolina State Senate voted 25-18 on Tuesday to pass the legislation, and the bill awaits the Governor’s signature.

“The passage of the Racial Justice Act is a major step not only in North Carolina but potentially in the South for dealing with the continuing legacy of systemic racism in the application of the death penalty,” said Reverend William Barber II, President of the NAACP North Carolina State Conference.

North Carolina currently has 163 people on death row, 60 percent of whom are black. Supporters of the Racial Justice Act point to a 2001 study by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill that found that the odds of a defendant receiving the death penalty in North Carolina increase if the victim of the murder is white.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.