Sunday, May 01, 2016

rss-feed-usepinterest-button Twitter logo blue

 

Viewpoints

N.C. bishops thank governor for vetoing repeal of Racial Justice Act

062911-nc-bishops-support-veto

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.

Sincerely,

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge

Bishop of Raleigh

The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis

Bishop of Charlotte

  • Barbara Case Speers: Hear today, gone tomorrow Barbara Case Speers: Hear today, gone tomorrow
    Reading the headline above, I'm certain you are ready to grab a red pen and correct the typo, but wait: There's a reason for it. I'd like you to think about what it takes to be a good listener, and why we should listen more carefully to others. Throughout...
  • Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: Right of expression Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: Right of expression
    According to Church law, those engaged in sacred disciplines (theology, philosophy, canon law, Church history) have the freedom of inquiry and expressing their opinion on matters in which they have expertise, while observing submission to the...
  • Rick Rotondi: Seeing as the pope sees Rick Rotondi: Seeing as the pope sees
    The Jubilee Year of Mercy has been an exciting one. But today will be its highlight. My Saint Benedict Press colleagues and I are attending Pope Francis' general audience, days before Holy Week in St. Peter's Square. A month before I'd sent...
  • Deacon James H. Toner : What we know that ain't so: 'Deusapathy'? Deacon James H. Toner : What we know that ain't so: 'Deusapathy'?
    What we think is the right road I don't know and, frankly, I don't care if God exists. I leave that to poets, priests and preachers. Anyway, it's not as though I see God and talk with Him every day. It's not as if He gives me a raise at work...
  • Sister Mary Raphael: Come and see Sister Mary Raphael: Come and see
    Youth is a time when people naturally start seeking answers about the reason for their existence. It is a time for dreaming dreams and looking to the future with hope and enthusiasm. Questions arise: "What do I want to do? What will I be? How...
  • Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: Christian education Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: Christian education
    The Christian faithful have the right to a Christian education. Church law 217 states: "Since they are called by baptism to lead a life in keeping with the teaching of the gospel, the Christian faithful have the right to a Christian education...
  • Father Deacon Kevin Bezner Why are the faces of saints arresting? Father Deacon Kevin Bezner Why are the faces of saints arresting?
    After looking at a photograph of St. John of Kronstadt (a Russian Orthodox Christian presbyter and a member of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church who lived from 1829 to 1908) and thinking of other images of saints he had seen, a friend...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20

LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

  • Women volunteers are vital to prison ministry
    I am a prison ministry volunteer at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Maggie Valley. It was of great interest that I read the prison ministry article in the March 4 edition of Catholic News...
  • Contraception: A rejection of God's gift of love and communion
    "Creating the human race in His own image..., God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion" (Catechism of the Catholic...
  • Bad choice for headline
    I understand the need to take a stand, but the headline of Robert Potter's commentary in the Feb. 5 edition, "How gay marriage and bathroom bills go together," was offensive. Related:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

FROM THE PASTORS

Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte: