FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge has thrown out an inmate's death sentence because prosecutors rejected potential jurors in his case who were black. The case was the first test of a 2009 law that gave death row inmates a new way to argue that racial bias influenced their sentences.
Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks ruled Friday that Marcus Robinson's death sentence should be changed to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors said they would appeal the ruling.
The law allows prisoners to have their death sentences tossed if they can prove racial bias played a significant role in their cases. It created a new kind of hearing where prisoners can use statistics in making their case.
Kentucky is the only other state with such a law.
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