The Curmudgeon


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Glorious Anniversary

The Christian state of Texas is approaching a glorious anniversary: the execution of one Kimberly McCarthy, scheduled for next Wednesday, will bring the state's bag to a respectable five hundred since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. McCarthy is black, as these trophies of justice so often are, and her lawyers are trying to use this in obtaining a stay of execution, on the blatantly racist grounds that there were too many white folks on the jury. The filing cites some delightful examples of Texan political correctness, including a 1963 training manual advising prosecutors against allowing "Jews, negroes, dagos, Mexicans, or a member of any minority race on a jury, no matter how rich or how well educated". Another manual of more recent vintage advised that it is "not advisable to select potential jurors with multiple gold chains around their necks or those who appear to be 'free thinkers'", and three years after McCarthy's own conviction the Dallas Morning News discovered that prosecutors were excluding black people from juries at more than twice the rate for white people. McCarthy's lawyer has even asked two judges to recuse themselves from the case on the grounds that they served as assistant district attorneys in the office where the discriminatory selection is supposed to have taken place, and has raised questions about the quality of legal representation which McCarthy received. All in all, it looks as if simply killing off one more black prisoner would take up a lot less time, trouble and paperwork.


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