Justices review DA’s choice of all-white murder trial jury

Eddie Hood speaks during an interview at his home in Rome, Ga., Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Hood was a potential juror in the murder trial of Timothy T. Foster who was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of an elderly white woman in 1987. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether prosecutors improperly singled out potential black jurors, including Hood, in notes and then excluded them all from the death penalty trial. (AP Photo/ John Bazemore)
Eddie Hood speaks during an interview at his home in Rome, Ga., Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Hood was a potential juror in the murder trial of Timothy T. Foster who was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of an elderly white woman in 1987. The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether prosecutors improperly singled out potential black jurors, including Hood, in notes and then excluded them all from the death penalty trial. (AP Photo/ John Bazemore)

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.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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