Seattle Prosecutor Quits; Rebuked for Telling Jury of “Black Folk Code”


A longtime senior Seattle prosecutor who went on leave after being rebuked by the state Supreme Court for using racially charged language during a 2007 murder trial has resigned, reports the Seattle Times. Last year, the Supreme Court found that James Konat had engaged in “prosecutorial misconduct” in questioning witnesses during the 2007 trial of Kevin Monday, who was convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree assault, and sentenced to 64 years in prison.

During the trial, Konat questioned witnesses, many of them black, about a purported street “code” that he claimed prevented some from talking to the police. Konat referred to police as the “PO-leese.” During his closing argument to jurors, Konat said that while witnesses denied the presence of such a code, “the code is black folk don’t testify against black folk. You don’t snitch to the police.” The Supreme Court overturned Monday’s conviction and awarded the man a new trial. Monday is black; Konat is white.

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