Marcus Robinson, a convicted killer, was removed from death row in North Carolina after a judge ruled that racial bias tainted his trial, the BBC reports.
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Under North Carolina’s “Racial Justice Act” (RJA), Robinson’s lawyers cited a Michigan State University study which revealed that, on average, qualified Black jurors were excluded from death row cases across the state and specifically in their client’s case.
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BBC has more:
For Robinson’s jury pool, qualified blacks were rejected 3.5 times more.
In his ruling, Judge Weeks found that the study was valid, and that the evidence presented in the trial showed both that Robinson deserved relief and that the jury selection process in North Carolina requires reform.
The Racial Justice Act was passed in 2009, but the ensuing controversy meant that the Robinson hearing was the first to test the law.
It is not seldom that Black men are on the winning side of justice. Let us hope that more men who are on death row because of racial bias can also look forward to similar rulings in the future.