U.S.S.Ct. reverses death sentence by all-white jury

In a case out of Georgia, Foster v. Chapman, the United States Supreme Court reversed the conviction and sentence of Timothy Foster who was tried in the 1986 death of a seventy-nine-year old widow.  The prosecution struck all four black venire persons.

From the Washington Post:

Georgia courts had consistently rejected Foster’s claims of discrimination, even after his lawyers obtained the prosecution’s notes that revealed prosecutors’ focus on the black people in the jury pool. In one example, a handwritten note headed “Definite No’s” listed six people, of whom five were the remaining black prospective jurors.

The sixth person on the list was a white woman who made clear she would never impose the death penalty, according to Foster’s lawyer, Stephen Bright. And yet even that woman ranked behind the black jurors, Bright said.

 

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