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NAACP criticizes Fayetteville senator over remarks about judge

The NAACP is taking issue with a Fayetteville legislator's remarks on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday during the debate over repealing the Racial Justice Act.

Republican Sen. Wesley Meredith argued that Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks should have recused himself from hearing claims filed under the RJA because he had presided over some of the cases earlier. Meredith asked "why do we need a minority judge who knew the case?"

Weeks is black. The argument was not about the judge's race, but whether people convicted of capital murder should have their sentences converted to life in prison without parole if there was racial prejudice in their trial. However, prosecutors fought hard to stop the first RJA cases before they went to Weeks, and then tried to have him removed from the hearings.

Rev. William Barber issued a news release calling Meredith's remark offensive.

At the end of Wednesday's debate, Sen. Dan Blue, a Raleigh Democrat who is African-American, spoke on the floor in defense of Weeks, adding that he was sure Meredith didn't intend to disparage the judge.

Morning Roundup: 3 more RJA sentences changed, trouble for Alzheimer's patients, McCrory's first 3 picks, what mayors want

A Cumberland County judge has converted three death sentences to life in prison in a Racial Justice Act ruling.

Alzheimer's patients on Medicaid in special housing might see their federal payments cut below the limit where the facilities can no longer afford to care for them.

Gov.-elect Pat McCrory names secretaries of Health and Human Services and of Environment and Natural Resources, and a chief of staff. All are fresh faces in state government, but well-known in Repbulican circles.

Mayors from the state's biggest cities got together to chart out a common course for the next legislative session.

1355503460 Morning Roundup: 3 more RJA sentences changed, trouble for Alzheimer's patients, McCrory's first 3 picks, what mayors want The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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