The Supreme Court rebuked Georgia prosecutors and judges Monday for having excluded black citizens from the murder trial of a black defendant, and then denying his claims of racial bias even after stark new evidence was revealed.
In an unusually biting opinion, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said it was “nonsense” and “not credible” for prosecutors to claim they acted for legitimate reasons when they struck several blacks from the jury pool.
For example, a prosecutor said one black juror was excluded because his son was convicted of “basically the same thing” as the defendant, who was charged with rape and murder. In fact, the man’s son had been given a suspended sentence five years earlier for stealing hubcaps from a car.
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