Bishops oppose death penalty bill

North Carolina's Roman Catholic bishops say changes by the state Senate to a bill designed to prevent racial bias in the death penalty are "beyond comprehension."

A priest read a letter Thursday from Bishop Peter Jugis of the Charlotte diocese and Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh at a news conference outside the Legislative Building.

Other religious leaders attending the event agreed they're unhappy with how the Senate approved the Racial Justice Act with new language also designed to allow executions to resume in North Carolina.

Capital punishment has been put on hold for more than two years due to a legal tangle in the courts.

The speakers said the new language should be stripped from the bill and the original measure approved alone.