A North Carolina man will be the first convicted prisoner to have his case reviewed under the controversial Racial Justice Act. According to the Fayetteville Observer, Marcus Reymond Robinson will have to prove that racism was a factor in his conviction. If he can, his death sentence will be converted to life in prison under the new law.

Marcus Reymond Robinson will be the first of more than 150 death row inmates to have a judge decide whether he was unjustly put on death row. Robinson was sentenced to death in 1994 for the 1991 murder of 17-year-old Erik Tornblom.

Tornblom’s family opposes Robinson’s effort. In recent preliminary hearings, Tornblom’s father and sister have worn buttons that say, “Justice is color blind.”

Lead prosecutor Cal Colyer of the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office has declined to comment on the case.

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