“I wonder if the perpetrator had been white, would they be in fear of white men? The answer would probably be no. I’m offended by that.”
An outspoken Black judge has faced a suspension without pay for “racially charged” comments. Olu Stevens, a resident of Kentucky, accused a Louisville prosecutor of intentionally seeking all-white juries.
State officials made the decision to suspend Jefferson Circuit Court Judge without pay this Monday. The suspension will last 90 days needed for an investigation into judicial misconduct charges.
Stevens was accused of eight code of conduct violations after expressing criticism towards Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine on Facebook and in the course of a speech at the Louisville Bar Association. There had been an earlier confrontation between Steven and the Attorney Tom Wine.
Stevens outrightly discharged a jury back in 2014 due to the defendant’s complaint saying that it “didn’t represent a cross-section of the community.” As a result, a panel consisting of four African-American jurors was formed, which eventually led to the acquittal of the defendant of all charges pressed against him. A similar incident took place in 2015.
Using these situations as the basis, Attorney Wine filed the lawsuit against the judge, questioning if Stevens had the power for the dismissal of the jury.
Stevens had to apologise for some of his accusations, though adding, “My intent in making these comments was to emphasize the need to have jury panels that reflect our Commonwealth’s racial and ethnic diversity so that all individuals can receive fair trials.”
Judge Stevens definitely didn’t mean any harm. His behavior was just based on the extent, to which racism infiltrated American judicial system. And the system aimed at mass incarceration of Black people and setting free their white counterparts didn’t wait to strike back. A Black person empowered with authority is a real nightmare for the unjust courts, so African-American jurors are being pushed out them and so are Black judges.
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