No race-picking

Posted: March 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

Supreme Court bars use of race in picking juries

Its 7-to-2 ruling Wednesday reverses a Louisiana death-penalty conviction.

By Warren Richey | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Washington – The US Supreme Court has put an exclamation point on a 1986 precedent that bars racial discrimination in jury selection.

The justices did it in a 7-to-2 ruling announced on Wednesday, reversing the capital-murder conviction of a black Louisiana death-row inmate.

Allen Snyder won the right to a new trial because the prosecutor in his 1996 murder case improperly excluded at least one African-American from the jury.

The case has been closely followed after reports that the state prosecutor, James Williams, excluded all five prospective African-American jurors from serving on the panel and then compared the defendant to O.J. Simpson during closing arguments. Analysts said it was an attempt to enrage the all-white jury and provoke a death sentence for a black defendant. (more…)

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