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Tag Archives: all white jury

Another Whitewash Jury in San Jose

I could debate about the punishment that would be appropriate for the miscreants – and whether locking them up, or giving them some serious community service time would be more effective. I think about 30 days in jail, followed by 4-6 months of working community service in a poor section of town might do wonders.

Donald Williams Jr., center, walks with his parents, Nancy and Donald Williams, out of Santa Clara Superior Court on Monday morning, Feb. 1, 2016, in San Jose, Calif.

All white jury fails to convict white San Jose State students who abused black classmate of hate crimes

Donald Williams Jr.’s parents were shocked to find a the Confederate flag posted in the common room of their son’s dorm. It was accompanied by a white board that featured the N-word and a swastika. But that wasn’t the worst of what Williams endured as a freshman at San Jose State University.

In September of 2013, one of his seven white roommates came up behind him and placed a U-shaped bike lock around his neck. Williams struggled to be released for five minutes before his roommate finally gave him the key. A week later, three of his other roommates attempted to do the same thing but failed when Williams engaged in a scuffle.

There was also an incident when Williams, who is reportedly claustrophobic, was locked inside a closet. His roommates assigned him nicknames such as “three-fifths” and “fraction,” which referenced how the Constitution once counted black slaves.

Despite the racially charged and abusive behavior, which were pieced together by police statements and an independent investigation, an all white jury deadlocked on the hate crime charges and ultimately failed to convict the suspects. Instead, Colin Warren, Logan Beaschler and Joseph “Brett” Bomgardner were found guilty ofmisdemeanor battery after “offensively touching” Williams during the bike-lock prank, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Sentencing is set for March, and the students face a maximum of six months in jail. According to the Washington Post, they’re unlikely to serve any time due to the absence of a hate crime conviction. They’re likely to get off easy with community service instead.

Ultimately the jury believed that the actions taken by the students were just pranks that went too far as opposed to hate crimes. But the fact that the students forcefully put a bike lock around Williams’ neck and didn’t deal with felony assault charges is ludicrous.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen disagrees that what Williams went through was nothing more than pranks, and is considering pursuing a retrial.

“Prejudice is not a prank,” Rosen said. “This violence did not happen in a historical vacuum. This violent act was done to a young black college student by five white men, an injustice inflicted upon him because of the color of his skin.”

Often times when debates about white privilege come about, white individuals believe it’s a denial of their own struggles and the hard work they put into their success. But white privilege is simply getting the benefit of the doubt by those in authority and the community.

The jury in the Williams case decided to give the white students the benefit of the doubt by believing that their actions were simply meant to be pranks and nothing more. But if the tables were turned and the races were reversed, does anyone actually think that black students would get the same treatment? Anyone who says “yes” is either incredibly naive or in denial.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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All White Jury for White Cop Rapist of 12 Black Women

Kangaroo court, anyone? Looks like the “justice system” in Oklahoma is rigged to let this cop get away with rape.

Critics blast all-white jury for Oklahoma cop accused of raping black women and teens

The trial of the former Oklahoma City police officer accused of a string of sexual assaults against black women began this week with an all-white jury.

Daniel Holtzclaw is alleged to have sexually assaulted 12 women and a 17-year-old girl while on duty. Prosecutors have said he targeted middle-aged black women of limited means who had cause to want to avoid the police, such as outstanding warrants.

Though African Americans make up 16% of the population of Oklahoma County there are no black people among the eight men and four women on the jury.

“We’re very disappointed that we don’t have any minorities on there … We’re not saying justice can’t prevail but we can be suspicious of it being [run] in a manner,” Oklahoma City National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) president Garland Pruitt told KOCO local news, which reported that three black men were not picked from a pool of 24 potential jurors.

The racial composition of juries is attracting national scrutiny. On Monday the supreme court heard a case about alleged racial bias in jury selection during a 1987 murder trial that could impact the way jurors are picked in future; last month a judge in Kentucky dismissed an entire jury because he felt it was not representative of the community.

All-white juries in Oklahoma are “relatively uncommon but certainly not unheard of”, especially outside large urban areas, said Brady Henderson, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma.

In addition to exclusionary tactics such as peremptory challenges, Henderson said systemic factors risk making Oklahoma juries unrepresentative, especially in federal court where jurors’ names are taken from voter registration lists and a disproportionate number of black people are not registered. In state court, where Holtzclaw is being tried, names are culled from drivers’ licences and ID cards.

Holtzclaw faces 36 charges, including rape, forcible oral sodomy and sexual battery, and could be sentenced to life imprisonment. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors contend that Holtzclaw began committing sex crimes in December 2013, when he coerced a hospitalised woman who was high on drugs and handcuffed to a bedrail into performing oral sex, with the promise that the charges would be dropped.

His youngest accuser said she was 17 when he raped her on her mother’s porch after groping her, ostensibly to search for drugs.

A college football standout who became an officer after failing to reach the NFL, Holtzclaw worked a 4pm to 2am shift in northeast Oklahoma City. Detectives used GPS records from his patrol car to place him at the scene of the alleged crimes.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2015 in Black History, The New Jim Crow

 

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Stacking Juries Against Black Defendants

The American Legal System is stacked against the poor, and persons of color. Whether the case is Civil or Criminal, a minority defendant pays a “Black Tax” on the outcome of the trial proceeding based on the sometimes intentional, and often subconscious bias of the jury. As such a Jury Trial is not the shield for the innocent it is for white defendants.

The process of racial Jury “stacking” has been exposed before, and addressed by the Appellate and Supreme Court. Yet it continues. Perhaps, in addition to the focus on Law Enforcement, BLM and other organizations need to attack the system at it’s very roots – the Judicial.

The Old Jim Crow Jury

Exclusion of Blacks From Juries Raises Renewed Scrutiny

SHREVEPORT, La. — Here are some reasons prosecutors have offered for excluding blacks from juries: They were young or old, single or divorced, religious or not, failed to make eye contact, lived in a poor part of town, had served in the military, had a hyphenated last name, displayed bad posture, were sullen, disrespectful or talkative, had long hair, wore a beard.

The prosecutors had all used peremptory challenges, which generally allow lawyers to dismiss potential jurors without offering an explanation. But the Supreme Court makes an exception: If lawyers are accused of racial discrimination in picking jurors, they must offer a neutral justification.

“Stupid reasons are O.K.,” said Shari S. Diamond, an expert on juries at Northwestern University School of Law. Ones offered in bad faith are not.

In Louisiana’s Caddo Parish, where Shreveport is the parish seat, a study to be released Monday has found that prosecutors used peremptory challenges three times as often to strike black potential jurors as others during the last decade. That is consistent with patterns researchers found earlier in Alabama, Louisiana and North Carolina, where prosecutors struck black jurors at double or triple the rates of others. In Georgia, prosecutors excluded every black prospective juror in a death penalty case against a black defendant, which the Supreme Court has agreed to review this fall.

“If you repeatedly see all-white juries convict African-Americans, what does that do to public confidence in the criminal justice system?” asked Elisabeth A. Semel, the director of the death penalty clinic at the law school at the University of California, Berkeley.

As police shootings of unarmed black men across the country have spurred distrust of law enforcement by many African-Americans, the new findings on jury selection bring fresh attention to a question that has long haunted the American justice system: Are criminal juries warped by racism and bias?

Some legal experts said they hoped the Supreme Court would use the Georgia case to tighten the standards for peremptory challenges, which have existed for centuries and were, until a 1986 decision, Batson v. Kentucky, considered completely discretionary. (Judges can also dismiss potential jurors for cause, but that requires a determination that they are unfit to serve.)

But many prosecutors and defense lawyers said peremptory strikes allow them to use instinct and strategy to shape unbiased and receptive juries. “I’m looking for people who will be open, at least, to my arguments,” said Joshua Marquis, the district attorney in Astoria, Ore.

Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s elected public defender, said peremptory challenges promote fairness. “You’re going to remove people who are biased against your client,” he said, “and the district attorney is going to remove jurors who are biased against police officers or the government.”

Another Courthouse Guarded By a Confederate Memorial

Reprieve Australia, a group that opposes the death penalty and conducted the Caddo Parish study, said the likelihood of an acquittal rose with the number of blacks on the jury. No defendants were acquitted when two or fewer of the dozen jurors were black. When there were at least three black jurors, the acquittal rate was 12 percent. With five or more, the rate rose to 19 percent. Defendants in all three groups were overwhelmingly black.

Excluding black jurors at a disproportionate rate does more than hurt defendants’ prospects and undermine public confidence, said Ursula Noye, a researcher who compiled the data for the report. “Next to voting,” she said, “participating in a jury is perhaps the most important civil right.”

‘It Dashes Your Hopes’

Prospective jurors arriving at the courthouse here walk past a towering monument to the Confederacy, featuring grim likenesses of four Confederate generals.

Carl Staples, a 63-year-old African-American, recalled how the monument made him feel when he reported for jury duty. “It dashes your hopes,” he said, taking a break at the gospel radio station where he works as an announcer. “It has its roots in the ideology of white supremacy.” He said much the same thing during jury selection in a 2009 death penalty case, and that played a part in his dismissal for cause.

‘It Dashes Your Hopes’

Prospective jurors arriving at the courthouse here walk past a towering monument to the Confederacy, featuring grim likenesses of four Confederate generals.

Carl Staples, a 63-year-old African-American, recalled how the monument made him feel when he reported for jury duty. “It dashes your hopes,” he said, taking a break at the gospel radio station where he works as an announcer. “It has its roots in the ideology of white supremacy.” He said much the same thing during jury selection in a 2009 death penalty case, and that played a part in his dismissal for cause….Read the Rest Here

The New Jim Crow – Just Like the Old Jim Crow…Just sneakier

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The New Jim Crow – Racial Jury Exclusion

Guilty!!!!!!!

Study: Blacks Routinely Excluded From Juries

Twenty-five years ago, Earl Jerome McGahee was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.

McGahee, an African-American, was tried by an all-white jury in an Alabama county that was more than 55 percent black.

The district attorney dismissed every one of the 24 blacks who qualified to serve on the jury, including Edith Ferguson, who had worked for the Selma, Ala., Police Department for many years. The reason cited for striking Ferguson from being a juror: “low intelligence.”

Bryan Stevenson of the nonprofit group Equal Justice Initiative tells NPR’s Guy Raz that assertions about intelligence are “one of the most troubling but persistent reasons” given to dismiss potential jurors who are black. Many of those potential jurors are college graduates, Stevenson says.

Last year, McGahee was granted a new trial because of the racially discriminatory jury selection in his original case. But many defendants are not so lucky.

Study Documents ‘Widespread Discrimination’

In a new study, Stevenson’s group details “widespread discrimination” in the selection of jurors across the Deep South. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2010 in The New Jim Crow

 

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