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State NAACP Leader Backs Racial Justice Act Ruling

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(Photo credit YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The head of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP says the decision to spare the life of a death row inmate under the Racial Justice Act was a breath of new life into the state Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law.

The Rev. William Barber joined other activists at a news conference Monday. He called last week’s decision in the case of Marcus Robinson a direct challenge to what he termed the racially biased practice of capital punishment and a criminal justice system tainted by bias.

The decision in Robinson’s case was the first test of a 2009 state law allowing death row prisoners and capital murder defendants to challenge their sentences or prosecutors’ decisions with statistics and other evidence beyond documents or witness testimony.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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