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NC Bishops Oppose Effort to Repeal Racial Justice Act

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On Tuesday, June 14, 2011, the Catholic Bishops of North Carolina joined with religious leaders from throughout the state in asking State House members to vote against Senate Bill 9, which would, in effect, repeal the Racial Justice Act signed into law in 2009. The news conference held by the People of Faith Against the Death Penalty is opposed to the bill titled “No Discriminatory Purpose in Death Penalty.” Religious leaders and others say if it is approved and signed into law, it would overturn the advances made in removing racial bias in death sentences.

Speaking on behalf of Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge and Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Msgr. Michael Clay told reporters gathered at a news conference that the Bishops’ position is “a principled one, based on the universal teaching of our Church and the united position of the Catholic bishops of the United States. Simply put, racism has no place in our Church and in our society.”

Reading the statement by Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Jugis, Msgr. Clay said after careful review of Senate Bill 9, the Bishops believe if adopted, it will represent a step backward in the area of racial justice.

The House is expected to vote on the bill as early as today. In an alert to subscribers of Catholic Voice NC on June 13, the Bishops asked their faithful to contact House members asking them to vote in opposition to the Senate bill 9.

Above: People of Faith Against the Death Penalty News Conference at NC General Assembly, noting opposition to pending legislation that would overturn 2009 Racial Justice Act.