State v. BurkeAnnotate this Case
For the reasons articulated in State v. Ramseur, N.C. Jun. 5, 2020, the Supreme Court vacated the orders of the trial court concluding that the claims in Defendant's second motion for appropriate relief (MAR) pursuant to the North Carolina Racial Justice Act (RJA) and amended RJA MAR were void due to the repeal of the RJA, holding that the evidentiary provisions contained in the original, unamended RJA applied to the adjudication of Defendant's RJA claims.
In 1993, Defendant was convicted of one count of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. In 2010, Defendant filed his second RJA MAR arguing that he was entitled to a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. In 2012, the General Assembly amended the RJA. Thereafter, Defendant filed an amendment to his RJA MAR. In 2013, the General Assembly repealed the RJA. Defendant then filed a second amendment to his RJA MAR. The trial court denied as being without merit and as being procedurally barred all of Defendant's claims under the RJA. The Supreme Court vacated the trial court's orders, holding (1) the RJA repeal and the 2012 amendments to the RJA cannot be constitutionally applied in Defendant's case; and (2) the trial court erred by denying Defendant's RJA claims without a hearing.