Last week, Washington became the 20th state to end the death penalty after its Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment is arbitrary and racially biased. If those are reasons to outlaw the death penalty, then it is surely time for the North Carolina death penalty to go. If anything, the death penalty in NC is more racist, more arbitrary, and threatens the lives of far more people.
Robert Bacon is black and his co-defendant, Bonnie Clark, the woman who master-minded the murder of her husband, is white. Both were convicted of first degree murder. The difference is Robert Bacon was sentenced to death, and Bonnie Clark received life in prison. In 2001, then Gov. Mike Easley granted clemency and commuted Bacon’s sentence […]
Race still plays a part in deciding who is sentenced to death in North Carolina. There is clear statewide evidence that African-Americans have been systematically excluded from capital juries and that crimes against white victims are punished more harshly.