Justice Sonia Sotomayor slams Texas prosecutor for racial remark

 

(Los Angeles Times) Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court's first Latina justice, slammed a Texas prosecutor Monday for citing race as grounds for convicting a defendant of a drug deal, saying the government attorney had tried to "substitute racial stereotype for evidence and racial prejudice for reason."

She filed a rare statement commenting on the court's refusal to hear an appeal, not to dissent from the decision but to "dispel any doubt" that the action "should be understood to signal our tolerance of a federal prosecutor's racially charged remark. It should not."

Sotomayor, who began her career as a prosecutor in New York, said she was troubled by what happened.

"By suggesting that race should play a role in establishing a defendant's guilt, the prosecutor here tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation," she wrote. "… It is deeply disappointing to see a representative of the United States resort to this base tactic more than a decade into the 21st century."

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