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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- An effort by Senate Republicans that they say will kick-start the resumption of executions in North Carolina and get rid of the Racial Justice Act has been approved by a legislative committee.

The judiciary committee voted along party lines Tuesday to recommend to the Senate the measure that its sponsor says will ensure that justice is carried out on those convicted of heinous murders.

No one on North Carolina's death row has been executed since 2006 because of various legal appeals.

The Racial Justice Act was approved in 2009 by Democrats and was designed to allow death row prisoners to receive life in prison if a judge finds racial bias played a role in their conviction or sentencing.

Republicans weakened severely the law last year.

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