On Wednesday, Senate Bill 416 “Amend Death Penalty Procedures” passed the House on a final vote of 73 to 47. It has now gone to the Senate for concurrence. According to a news release from NC House Majority Leader Paul Stam, the bill alleviates the effects of The Racial Justice Act, which essentially imposed a five to six year moratorium on the death penalty in North Carolina when it passed in 2009. It allowed all inmates on death row at the time to claim they were racially discriminated against during their trial. By 2011, 152 of 156 prisoners made claim, putting their cases on indefinite hold. The major changes detail the use of evidence to prove racial discrimination. The bill outlines what types of evidence may be used by the defendant. Specific evidence may include, but is not limited to, sworn testimony of attorneys, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and judges. Stam concluded by saying: This action is necessary to end the moratorium on the death penalty. The death penalty acts as a deterrent only if it is used. The death penalty will obviously not deter if the state only pretends to have a death penalty and never carries out the sentence.