Supreme Court Reviews Murder Case for Racial Discrimination

Supreme Court Reviews Murder Case for Racial Discrimination

Timothy Foster faces death for verdict from all-white jury.

Published November 1, 2015

The Supreme Court is hearing both sides of a 1987 Georgia murder case that many believe was racially biased. In the original case, Timothy Tyrone Foster, a Black  man, was on trial for the murder of Queen Madge White, a 79-year-old white woman, in Rome, Georgia. Rather than being tried in front of a jury of his peers, Foster faced an all-white jury who were lead to believe his conviction would send a message to others "out there in the projects."

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Now, as Foster sits on death row, his case is being heard from a different perspective in the highest court of the land, where the justices will determine if the prosecution's jury selection was a form of racial discrimination. 

Georgia courts have consistently rejected Foster's claims of discrimination, even after his lawyers obtained the prosecution's notes that suggested the contrary. In one example, a handwritten note headed "Definite No's" listed six people, of whom five were Black prospective jurors.

The case will go before the Supreme Court on Monday, and could not only affect Foster's fate, but be a stepping stone for the elimination of capital punishment altogether.

#What's At Stake: Rules for White People in the Fight for Justice in the video below. 

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 (Photo: Georgia Department of Corrections via AP)

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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