Monday, March 21, 2005

More 'isms' out of California

There has been a lot of media attention out of California as of late. It seems that a former prosecutor in Alameda County (which includes the city of San Jose) has filed a sworn statement acknowledging that he and other prosecutors routinely worked to keep Jews and African Americans off of capital murder juries, in a mistaken beleif that they would not vote for the death penalty.

Over at Lonely Abolitionist, Carrie writes:

I'm furious that this kind of deliberate racism, antisemitism and xenophobia continues within our "justice" system (and elsewhere!). Of course, I knew that it did, but having a sworn acknowledgement of it from a capital case prosecutor just boils me. Perhaps its better that it is now out in the open. Perhaps now, something will be done about it. Perhaps now, juries in California will be more fairly empaneled and the defendant will have just as fair a shot at NOT getting a death sentence as getting one. God forbid we would put people who object to executing human beings on a jury. Of course, that's just the legal (and moral!) implication of purposefully leaving particular ethnic or religious groups off juries. The much broader statement is the statement made by the assumptions and stereotypes implied in the idea that Jews or black women would not be proper jurors in a death case because they would never send someone to death row.

To read Lonely Abolitionist's entire post, plus to see a related news article, go here.

1 comment:

CarrieJ said...

Mea Culpa. My post incorrectly stated that these events occurred in San Jose. Alameda County is actually just north of San Jose in the East Bay.