The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will consider whether Georgia prosecutors based their jury selection choices on race, ending up with an all-white jury in the murder trial of a black man, NBC News reported.
Prosecutors used green highlighters to mark the names of black people on a list of potential jurors. Five black panelists qualified to serve were the first five on a government list of "definite NO's." And prospective black jurors were noted as "B#1, B#2, and B#3."
The jury was chosen for the death penalty trial of Timothy Tyrone Foster, 18, charged with sexually molesting then killing a 79-year-old widow in Rome, Georgia. He was sentenced to death.
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The lead prosecutor urged the jury to impose the death sentence "to deter other people out there in the projects." Stephen Bright of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, who represents Foster, said the local housing projects were 90 percent black.
The Supreme Court will issue a decision by late June.