A bill resuming the death penalty in North Carolina has tentatively passed the state House.
The House gave initial approval to the measure Tuesday. The bill repeals what remains of the Racial Justice Act, which was passed four years ago by Democrats. The act allows a judge to reduce a death sentence to life in prison if race played a major role in the case. The act was already weakened by Republicans last session.
GOP lawmakers argue the act has held up justice with more than 150 appeals from inmates. Democrats point to studies and a Cumberland County judge's decision to spare several convicted murderers that prove racism remains a serious problem.
The bill already passed the Senate. It will likely return for a final vote in the House Wednesday.