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NC Senate taking up capital punishment changes

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina Republican senators say rule changes to capital punishment procedures in the state will help mete out justice upon convicted killers and give closure to families of slain victims.
    
The Senate scheduled floor debate Wednesday on legislation that seeks to end a logjam on North Carolina's death row, where no one has been executed since 2006 due to broad legal appeals.
    
The bill also would repeal completely the Racial Justice Act - a 2009 law that lays out a method for prisoners to use evidence to attempt to persuade a judge their death sentences should be reduced to life in prison.
    
Many district attorneys and victims of crime have publicly supported the bill.
    
Other victims' family members and lawmakers who oppose the measure planned a news conference Wednesday morning.

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