Judge Removes Self From Racial Bias Cases | Beaufort County Now | Four convicted murderers were back in court on Thursday in Fayetteville. They were put back on death row in December 2015 after the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled their case regarding the Racial Justice Act would go back to the lower courts to be heard again

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Judge Removes Self From Racial Bias Cases

    Publisher's note: This post was originally published in Civitas's online edition.

    Four convicted murderers were back in court on Thursday in Fayetteville. They were put back on death row in December 2015 after the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled their case regarding the Racial Justice Act would go back to the lower courts to be heard again.

    On Thursday, however, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons seemed to be the one on trial. The lawyers representing the convicted murderers contended he had a conflict of interest. Their argument was centered on Ammons having a brother-in-law who was a State Highway Patrol official.

    Although he strongly said he could preside fairly over the case, ultimately Ammons said he would step aside. There will be a new judge assigned and the trial will start from the beginning again.

    The courtroom skirmish wasn't a win and it wasn't a loss for the victims and their families, but the purpose of the defendants' lawyers seemed to be to bash the judge so they could get who they wanted on the bench. We are still waiting on what happens to those on death row and whether they can apply for the Racial Justice Act in the future.
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