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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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