N.C. bishops thank governor for vetoing repeal of Racial Justice Act
RALEIGH — Both of North Carolina's bishops, Bishop Peter Jugis and Bishop Michael Burbidge, have thanked Gov. Bev Perdue for her Dec. 14 veto of an effort by legislators to repeal a two-year-old law that lets death row inmates appeal their sentences on the basis of racial bias.
The state's Racial Justice Act, which Perdue signed into law in 2009, allows prisoners sentenced to death to use statistics to determine if race was a factor in their sentencing.
Both bishops had written a letter Nov. 30 to Perdue asking her to uphold the Racial Justice Act. Last week, they sent a second letter to the governor thanking her for the veto.
The Bishops have also urged Catholic Voice participants to contact their legislators, asking them not to override the governor's veto.
The state Senate had voted earlier to repeal the act, which aims to reject the influence of race discrimination in the administration of the death penalty, through Senate Bill 9, called the "No Discriminatory Purpose in the Death Penalty."
"We urge you to continue to keep North Carolina on the path to justice for all of its citizens that is guaranteed by the Racial Justice Act," the bishops wrote in their letter, asking her to veto the Senate's new bill.
Others voicing their support for the 2009 Racial Justice Act included the N.C. NAACP and People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.
For updates on this and other efforts by the N.C. bishops through their non-partisan advocacy website, Catholic Voice North Carolina, go to www.catholicvoicenc.org.
— Patricia L. Guilfoyle, editor
Editor's note: Here are the full texts of the N.C. bishops' letters:
December 16, 2011
Dear Governor Perdue,
We write to thank you for your decision to veto the No Discriminatory Purpose in the Death Penalty Act. Your action is an important step in working to ensure a fair and balanced justice system in North Carolina in capital murder cases.
We appreciate the consistency you have demonstrated since you first championed the Racial Justice Act in 2009.
Dear Governor Perdue,
In enacting the Racial Justice Act in 2009 the North Carolina General Assembly made clear that North Carolina rejects the influence of race discrimination in the administration of the death penalty. That was a laudatory goal two years ago and remains so today. Thank you for signing that legislation.
As the bill, No Discriminatory Purpose in the Death Penalty, which would repeal that historic measure, awaits action by you, we urge you to continue to keep North Carolina on the path to justice for all of its citizens that is guaranteed by the Racial Justice Act.
Please veto the No Discriminatory Purpose in the Death Penalty act.
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Raleigh
The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis
Bishop of Charlotte
Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk: Physician-assisted suicide and confronting our fearsThe prospect of a very attractive, recently-married young woman with a terminal illness facing excruciating pain and suffering as she dies is enough to move anyone. The life and death of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard recently captured enormous...
Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: What makes a marriage?"The consent of the parties, legitimately manifested between persons qualified by law, makes marriage..." (Canon 1057 §1) Consent is a deep-seated act of the spirit of a human person. By consent, we mean that intelligence and free will are...
Leslye Colvin: Ours to remember and shareCultures designate specific times to honor events and peoples significant to their history. Scripture proclaims that even within the first week of creation it was important to honor God on the seventh day. Humanity moves within the parameters...
W.S. "Bill" Melton Jr.: Giving thanks for those wonderful sacred souls of Sacred HeartAmong the deep-seated memories of my childhood, none are more wonderful than those created during the five years I spent at Sacred Heart Grade School in Belmont, a school operated as a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy. I didn't enroll until...
Corlis Sellers: The Ugandan Martyrs: Seeds of the Church in AfricaThe descendants of Africa had a significant role to play in the history of the Catholic Church. Among Africa's many martyrs are the Martyrs of Uganda: 22 Catholic converts who were murdered for their faith in the historical kingdom of Buganda,...
The Poor Clares: Forming beauty: Raising women of GodGentle tenderness, loving maternal care, a profoundly sensitive heart, the depths of feminine receptivity and empathy, sensitivity to beauty and the gift of nourishing and embracing the "other" – these qualities all seem to be hallmarks of...
Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: The history of marriageTo understand Church laws about marriage, the critical issues affecting marriage, and the discussions of the Synod on the Family, it is helpful to briefly review the history of marriage and the evolution of legislation addressing marriage. In...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Many do not know about St. Gianna Beretta MolloOn July 20, 2014, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced that Pope St. John Paul II and St. Gianna Beretta Mollo have been chosen as the patron saints of the World Meeting of Families which will...
Home School Fine Arts Festival had outstanding quality, jubilant spiritIt was a pleasure to read the Sept. 12 article about the success of the Home School Fine Arts Festival. My husband and I attended the closing theatrical performance as guests, unaffiliated in...
Thank you for commentary on recent Latino CatholicsRico De Silva's recent commentary entitled "Growing number of Latino Catholics in the U.S. flying below the Church's radar" was so spot on that it had me immediately thanking God, this column,...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Roger Arnsparger at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Jason Christian at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. Matthew Kauth at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Christopher Riehl's archive from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Joshua Voitus at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Sylva, including homilies in Spanish
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Gospel reflection videos from St. Matthew Church
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen and watch homilies from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy