My blogs were posted in April of this year, 2016.
On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a death sentence from Georgia to an African American man made by an all-white jury, specifically because the prosecution behaved in the exact same manner as the prosecution behaved in Kentucky - struck every African American potential juror from the jury panel.
Judge Olu Stevens rectified that behavior by the only way possible, in fact, by the same way as the U.S. Supreme Court did - at the last level of litigation, by ordering the case with such flawed jury selection to a new trial and then, after the case concluded, going public about prosecutorial misconduct in the case.
Judge Olu Stevens should be commended, not disciplined, for not only doing justice for the criminal defendant, but also for saving Kentucky taxpayers thousands, if not millions of dollars in litigation cost and preventing the need of going to the U.S. Supreme Court after the conviction of African American defendants by all-white juries hand-picked by a white prosecutor.
By the way, the only black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court dissented. Yet, being black does not gives you a right to uphold racist injustice against your own people. Fortunately, the rest of the court disagreed with "justice" Thomas.
As the New York Times reports it, there was no doubt that striking the black jurors - and seeking the death penalty against an African American man - were racially motivated decisions:
"In notes that did not surface until decades later, prosecutors marked the names of black prospective jurors with a B and highlighted those names in green. They circled the word “black” where potential jurors had noted their race on questionnaires.
Now that the majority decision in Foster v Chatman is in, I wonder whether Kentucky disciplinary authorities will obey the precedent and restore Judge Olu Stevens to the bench, with apologies - because Judge Stevens' only "fault" was that he tried to uphold the law.
All that Kentucky disciplinary authorities have to do now - a very difficult decision in a racist criminal justice system, I bet - is to uphold the law, and the new precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court, too. And to do justice to Judge Olu Stevens.
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