Friday, January 28, 2011

Racial Justice Act Cases Head to Court

The first cases under the Racial Justice Act (RJA) have been set for hearing and appear to be moving in an orderly manner through the judicial system.

Judge William Wood of Forsyth County Superior court scheduled two inmates cases, Carl Stephen Moseley and Errol Duke Moses, for hearing on the constitutional validity of the Act.

The State asserts that the RJA is unconstitutionally vague and has other constitutional problems. If Judge Wood agrees, he could strike down the 2 year old law.

If not, Judge Wood would then hear discovery issues and likely set up a time table for the state's experts to review the defendant's study, which demonstrates widespread discrimination in jury selection and capital charging and sentencing. After the State's experts have fully reviewed the study and conducted any appropriate further study, the case would be heard and resolved on its merits by Judge Wood. It appears that these cases may be the lead cases in the area and their orderly resolution will be instructive for other RJA claims around the state.

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