Racial bias of the jurors in 1987 almost killed a black defendant.
For over 19 years, Timothy Tyrone Foster was waiting for the all-white juror’s verdict to be enforced. Fortunately, it was rejected yesterday.
In 1987, a Georgia man was found guilty of murdering an elderly retired school teacher and sentenced to death. However, it’s hard to say that Foster got a fair trial since all the black candidates were removed from the jury not long before. The attorneys of Foster claimed the lack of black jurors suggested that trial’s verdict was predetermined even before the trail itself actually started.
The use of race factor was exposed in 2006. At that point, jury selection notes were obtained, which revealed that the names of potential black members of the jury were marked with “B”, indicating their race. And that happened after the court’s 1986 decision in Batson vs Kentucky that prohibited racial discrimination in the jury selection process.
Yet, it must be admitted, that our country has changed since that day. On May 23 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a death row inmate. Timothy Foster now has a chance to receive a retrial and, hopefully, justice will be served.
We advocate an equal treatment for all, regardless of race and gender. It’s not a secret that all-white jury pools convict black defendants more often than whites. If the Justice system adds more black members in a jury, we might see the day when the punishment fits the crime.