Black man on death row for 29 years, freed due to racial misdemeanor

The Supreme Court of the United States has reportedly ruled in favour of the convict, Timothy Tyrone Foster, convicted in 1987 of murdering one Queen White, a 79-year-old retired teacher, in a 7-1 ruling, throwing out his case after almost three decades on death row.

Timothy Tyrone Foster

The Supreme Court of the United States has reportedly ruled in favour of the convict, Timothy Tyrone Foster, convicted in 1987 of murdering one Queen White, a 79-year-old retired teacher, in a 7-1 ruling, throwing out his case after almost three decades on death row.

Although Foster has been warned that he could still face a retrial, the 48-year-old has been set free, with the charges leveled against him expunged after it had been discovered that there had been racial segregation during his trial, causing him to face an all white jury which may have made the judgement biased.

Prosecutors disclosed that 18-year-old Foster had been accused of breaking into White’s home in the middle of the night, breaking her jaw and sexually molesting her before he strangled her and stole items from her home.

Foster had been convicted and handed a death sentence which he has according to reports, been fighting since his incarceration began.

The reports reveal that, during the jury selection, all four black members of the pool of potential jurors had been removed by prosecutors giving reasons unrelated to race for their decision to exclude them.

Only white jurors had been selected for the panel which had together, convicted Foster and sentenced him to death.

Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly wrote that, prosecution notes which have been uncovered, reveal a prejudice based on race.

At the time of the trial, Foster’s legal arguments over the all white jury selection had failed but in 2006, his lawyers had finally obtained access to the prosecution’s jury selection notes, which had shown that the race of the black potential jurors had been highlighted, indicating “an explicit reliance on race,” as revealed by Foster's lawyers.

The notes had also shown that the prosecution had marked the names of the black prospective jurors with a “B,” highlighting them in green and had reportedly circled the word “black” next to the question of race on the juror questionnaires.

The Supreme Court finally reached the conclusion that the state’s prosecutors “were motivated in substantial part by race” when they had excluded two of the potential jurors.

A conservative and the only black member of the court, Justice Clarence Thomas, was according to reports, the only dissenter at the hearing.

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