WASHINGTON- The Washington Supreme Court recently threw out a murder conviction, ruling the prosecutor yielded “racist arguments” to attack defense witnesses.
According to The Seattle Times the court, in a 8-1 ruling, found that veteran deputy prosecutor James Konat engaged in “prosecutorial misconduct” when questioning witnesses during the trail of Kevin L. Monday, who was sentenced to 64 years in prison for first-degree murder and first-degree assault in 2007.
Konat accused witnesses, many of whom were Black, of preserving street “code,” in which “Black folk don’t testify against Black folk.”
“You don’t snitch to the police,” he remarked.
Konat made additional references to the “PO-leese” while questioning witnesses on the stand. The justices contend that the only reason Konat used the pronunciation “PO-leese” was to “subtly, and likely deliberately, call to the jury’s attention that the witness was African American.”
The State Court of Appeals concurred that Konat used racial prejudice during the trail, but upheld Monday’s conviction. However, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Konat’s comments were grounds for the conviction to be overturned.