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Justices Order New Look at Death Sentence After Racial Slur

Jan. 9, 2018, 8:45 PM

A divided U.S. Supreme Court ordered a new look at a Georgia inmate’s death sentence after one of the jurors referred to the defendant using a racial slur and questioned whether black people have souls.

The justices, over three dissents, said a federal appeals court was too quick to conclude that racial prejudice didn’t infect the jury’s decision that Keith Leroy Tharpe should be executed for a 1990 murder. The majority, however, said Tharpe still faces a “high bar” to get the death sentence set aside given how long his lawyers waited to raise the issue.

The juror, Barney Gattie,...

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