Racial Justice trial: No execution for black inmate, judge rules

April 20, 2012 FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. In a landmark ruling, a North Carolina judge Friday vacated the death penalty of a convicted black murderer, saying prosecutors across the state had engaged for years in a deliberate and systematic pattern of racial discrimination while striking black potential jurors in death penalty cases. 

     The decision by Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Weeks in Cumberland County, N.C., could help set a precedent nationwide in death penalty cases, which for years have included arguments by black defendants and civil rights lawyers that prosecutors keep blacks off juries for overtly racial reasons. Read More