High Court Rebukes Texas, Overturns Death Case


Thomas Miller-El, a black death row inmate in Texas, today won a new trial when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that prosecutors had unfairly stacked his jury with whites. The Associated Press called the 6-to-3 ruling “a harsh rebuke to the state that executes more people than any other.”

Miller-El was challenging his conviction for the 1985 murder of a 25-year-old motel clerk. It was the second time justices reviewed the case after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit refused to reconsider his claims. Seth Waxman, representing Miller-El, argued that because two prosecutors in the case were “found to have made racially based strikes in the past,” they likely were doing it again, according to a Northwestern University Web site that follows the Court. Waxman contended that the prosecutors used various “ploys,” including race-coding and disparate questioning to strike an inordinate number of African-American jurors

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/13/AR2005061300531.html

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