James R. Horton: Harmless review

June 30, 2013 

Harmless review

I heard our governor state in Greenville that he opposed the Racial Justice Act because, among other reasons, a bipartisan group of district attorneys thought it was a bad act for North Carolina justice. Sadly, some DAs, as well as some in law enforcement officials, have participated in the very actions within the court system that gave rise to the need for the Racial Justice Act.

I have been privileged to know several DAs over the years and respect the work they do for our state justice system as well as the great work of our law enforcement officers. That does not mean that mistakes by commission or omission have not occurred. I do not see the harm in allowing a court review to ensure that fair sentencing has occurred.

I am a firm believer in the value of our legal system, but I am also aware that equal justice under the law is sometimes a statement of belief, not necessarily a reality. I regret that our governor decries the notion that even an enlightened state can make mistakes.

James R. Horton


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