Posts Tagged ‘juries’

North Carolina judge commutes 3 death sentences, citing racial bias Read more: North Carolina judge commutes 3 death sentences, citing racial bias – The Denver Post

Sunday, December 16th, 2012


(Denver Post) A North Carolina judge on Thursday commuted the death sentences of three convicted killers, including two who killed law enforcement officers, to life in prison without the possibility of parole after ruling that race played an unjust role in jury selection at their trials.

Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Weeks based his ruling on evidence presented over four weeks of hearings that he says showed prosecutors in each case made a concerted effort to reduce the number of black jurors.

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Black people blatantly excluded from Alabama juries, lawsuit claims

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

(The Guardian) Black people are being systematically and intentionally excluded from jury service in parts of Alabama almost 140 years after the practice was outlawed in the US, a lawsuit lodged with the federal courts alleges.

The class action has been launched on behalf of thousands of black people in Alabama who were allegedly prevented from sitting as jurors in serious criminal cases, many of which carried the death penalty, in a blatant move by prosecutors to achieve all-white or largely white juries. The complaint claims that the practice has been going on for decades.

It relates specifically to the actions of one prosecutor, Douglas Valeska, who is district attorney in the Alabama counties of Houston and Henry. The lawsuit alleges that he, together with his unnamed associate prosecutors, effectively relegated black people in their areas to "second class citizenship".

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