Tag Archives: black

O'Rourke brings back a key aide, hoping to recapture magic with black voters

O'Rourke brings back a key aide, hoping to recapture magic with black votersPresidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has brought onboard one of the architects of his Senate race to his campaign team in efforts to reach black voters.



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Curtis Flowers: Death row inmate has conviction quashed due to lack of black jurors

Curtis Flowers: Death row inmate has conviction quashed due to lack of black jurorsThe US Supreme Court has quashed the murder conviction of a black man on death row in Mississippi because of a prosecutor’s “relentless” efforts to stop African Americans appearing on the jury at successive trials.Curtis Flowers, 49, has already been tried six times and now could face a seventh trial following the decision by the country’s highest federal court.He has been in jail more than 22 years, ever since his arrest after four people were found shot dead in a furniture store in Winona, Mississippi, in July 1996.The removal of black jurors deprived inmate Mr Flowers of a fair trial, the Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh.A series of trials stretching back more than 20 years shows District Attorney Doug Evans made a “relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals,” with the goal of an all-white jury in Flowers’ case, Justice Kavanaugh wrote.“The numbers speak loudly,” Justice Kavanaugh said in a summary of his opinion that he read in the courtroom, noting that Mr Evans had removed 41 of the 42 prospective black jurors over the six trials. “We cannot ignore that history.”Mr Flowers was found guilty in his first three trials, but the three convictions were overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court due to “prosecutorial misconduct”. The fourth and fifth trials ended in mistrials.He was convicted again on the sixth trial in 2010, when the jury was made up of 11 whites and one African American and Mr Evans struck five black prospective jurors – a conviction overturned on Friday.In a dissenting view, Justice Clarence Thomas called Justice Kavanaugh’s opinion “manifestly incorrect” and wrote that Mr Flowers “presented no evidence whatsoever of purposeful race discrimination”.Justice Thomas, the only African American currently on the Supreme Court, said: “The state is perfectly free to convict Curtis Flowers again.”Mr Evans said he remained confident of Mr Flowers guilt but had not yet decided whether the state of Mississippi would order a retrial, according to American Public Media. He denied trying to exclude African Americans from the jury.Mr Flowers’ defence lawyers have argued that witness statements and physical evidence against him are too weak to convict him of the killings of four furniture store workers.“A seventh trial would be unprecedented, and completely unwarranted given both the flimsiness of the evidence against him and the long trail of misconduct that has kept him wrongfully incarcerated all these years,” said Sheri Lynn Johnson, who represented Mr Flowers at the Supreme Court.“We hope that the state of Mississippi will finally disavow Doug Evans’ misconduct, decline to pursue yet another trial and set Mr Flowers free.”In the course of selecting a jury, lawyers can excuse a juror merely because of a suspicion that someone would vote against their client using “peremptory strikes”, but they have been the focus of the complaints about discrimination.The Supreme Court tried to stamp out discrimination in the composition of juries in the Batson v Kentucky decision in 1986, ruling that jurors couldn’t be excused from service because of their race.Additional reporting by AP



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Protestors ask Pete Buttigieg about black lives matter movement during heated confrontation

Protestors ask Pete Buttigieg about black lives matter movement during heated confrontationIndiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg cancelled several 2020 campaign events this week following a police-involved shooting that left a black man dead.



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Court tosses black man's murder conviction over racial bias

Court tosses black man's murder conviction over racial biasThe Supreme Court on Friday threw out the murder conviction and death sentence for a black man in Mississippi because of a prosecutor’s efforts to keep African Americans off the jury. The removal of black prospective jurors deprived inmate Curtis Flowers of a fair trial, the court said in a 7-2 decision written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The long record of Flowers’ trials stretching back more than 20 years shows District Attorney Doug Evans’ “relentless, determined effort to rid the jury of black individuals,” with the goal of an all-white jury, Kavanaugh wrote.



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UPDATE 2-Democratic presidential hopefuls seek black support at South Carolina fish fry

UPDATE 2-Democratic presidential hopefuls seek black support at South Carolina fish fryA fish fry in South Carolina on Friday drew the largest crowd of Democratic presidential candidates yet and gave them a chance to gauge support among black voters, who will be a crucial voting bloc in the early primary state next year. Twenty-one of the 24 major candidates seeking the party’s 2020 nomination attended the gathering in Columbia hosted by U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking black lawmaker in Congress. The event acts as an unofficial kickoff to the Democratic primary race in South Carolina, and gave contenders a chance to hobnob with Clyburn’s political network while attendees ate an estimated 4,400 pounds of fried fish and 6,400 slices of bread.



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Citing bias, US Supreme Court tosses murder conviction of black man

Citing bias, US Supreme Court tosses murder conviction of black manThe US Supreme Court on Friday threw out the conviction of an African-American man who was tried six times for a quadruple murder, saying the exclusion of black jurors was unconstitutional. Curtis Flowers, 49, was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to death for the July 1996 murders of four people in a furniture store in Winona, Mississippi, where he had briefly worked until being fired. The nation’s highest court did not examine the guilt or innocence of Flowers but whether the district attorney deliberately sought to keep black people off the jury in his most recent trial.



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Citing racial bias, U.S. high court tosses black man's murder conviction

Citing racial bias, U.S. high court tosses black man's murder convictionThe U.S. Supreme Court, confronting racial bias in the American criminal justice system, on Friday threw out a black Mississippi death row inmate’s conviction in his sixth trial for a 1996 quadruple murder conviction, finding that a prosecutor unlawfully blocked black potential jurors. The court, in a 7-2 ruling written by conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, found that the prosecutor’s actions violated the right of Curtis Flowers, 49, under the U.S. Constitution to receive a fair trial. The ruling does not preclude Mississippi from putting Flowers on trial for a seventh time.



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Ex-Florida policeman gets 25 years in prison for killing black motorist

Ex-Florida policeman gets 25 years in prison for killing black motoristA former Florida police officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting a black motorist who was awaiting a tow truck in October 2015. Nouman Raja, 41, was fired from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department shortly after he killed Corey Jones, 31, while on plainclothes duty, and was convicted last month by a jury of manslaughter and first-degree murder. The conviction was unusual in a country in which police officers kill roughly 1,000 people each year, a disproportionate number of them black men, usually without facing prosecution, according to a Washington Post database on police shootings.



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UPDATE 2-Ex-Florida policeman gets 25 years in prison for killing black motorist

UPDATE 2-Ex-Florida policeman gets 25 years in prison for killing black motoristA former Florida police officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting a black motorist who was awaiting a tow truck in October 2015. Nouman Raja, 41, was fired from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department shortly after he killed Corey Jones, 31, while on plainclothes duty, and was convicted last month by a jury of manslaughter and first-degree murder. The conviction was unusual in a country in which police officers kill roughly 1,000 people each year, a disproportionate number of them black men, usually without facing prosecution, according to a Washington Post database on police shootings.



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25 years in prison for ex-Florida policeman who shot black motorist

25 years in prison for ex-Florida policeman who shot black motoristA former Florida police officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting a black man whose car had broken down on the highway. Nouman Raja, 41, was convicted of manslaughter and attempted murder last month for the October 2015 shooting of Corey Jones, a 31-year-old musician. Raja, a former member of the Palm Beach Gardens police force, is the first police officer to be convicted in Florida for the on-duty shooting death of a black man in three decades.



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