For the first time in 30 years, the U.S. Supreme Court is wrestling with a divisive issue within the criminal justice system: race discrimination in the selection of jurors. In an unusual move, a bipartisan group of highly regarded prosecutor have filed a “friend-of-the-court brief” siding with Timothy Foster, who was convicted and sentenced to death in the killing of an elderly white woman in Georgia. Said prosecutors produced a statement concerning the issue at bar, that “numerous studies demonstrate that prosecutors use peremptory strikes to remove black jurors at significantly higher rates than white jurors.” In Foster’s case, his lawyers are specifically arguing that black jurors were systematically excluded from the jury at his trial in 1987, while judges at all levels looked the other way for nearly three decades thereafter. To read the rest of this article and learn more about the details of jury selection, head to WBEZ 91.5.
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