WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is examining the motives of a Georgia prosecutor who excluded African-Americans from the jury in the death penalty trial of a black teenager who killed an elderly white woman.
Timothy Tyrone Foster has been on death row for nearly 30 years, but his case still is winding through the courts.
The justices will hear arguments Monday over whether prosecutor Stephen Lanier’s elimination of all the black prospective jurors from Foster’s 1987 trial is a form of racial discrimination.
Georgia courts have consistently rejected Foster’s discrimination claims, even after his lawyers obtained prosecutors’ notes that revealed prosecutors’ focus on the black people in the jury pool.
In one example, a handwritten note headed “Definite No’s” listed six people, including the remaining five black prospective jurors.
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