Wednesday, April 25, 2012

North Carolina: Race and the Robinson Commutation

J.F., at The Economist, has a piece on the commutation of sentence that was granted to Marcus Robinson. Robinson and another abducted a 17-year-old high-school student, forced him to drive to an open field where they shot him in the face with a sawed-off shotgun and robbed him of $27.

J.F. says the commutation was about "a long and shameful legacy of racial bias among prosecutors in North Carolina."  For example, professors at Michigan State's law school studied jury selection and composition in North Carolina between 1990 and 2010 for trials of all defendants on death row. They found:

- prosecutors at all levels struck 52.6% of black potential jurors, and 25.8% of all other potential jurors

- in cases involving black defendants, the average strike rate rose to 60% for black potential jurors and 23.1% for everyone else.

Such disparities were also found "in the county, prosecutorial district and judicial division in which Mr Robinson was sentenced, as well as in his own trial." See full story here.

1 comment:

biopro said...

This is pretty darn interesting, thanks for the blog!

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