The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the appeal of a black prisoner who was sentenced to death with the help of a Texas juror who was accused of making racially biased remarks during jury selection.
The justices ruled 6-3, dismissing the appeal of Christopher Love, who argued that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals unreasonably refused to consider his claim of racial bias and ultimately denied him his constitutional mandate of an impartial jury. Right was denied.
“When racial prejudice infects a jury in a capital case, it deprives a defendant of the right of an impartial tribunal with a life-or-death reference, and it ‘poisons the public’s confidence’ in the judicial process.” does,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the dissenting opinion of the court. She was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.
Love, 38, filed the appeal, according to her plea that “non-white” race people were statistically more violent than white people after being told by a then-prospective juror during jury selection.
Love’s defense team requested that the person be removed from the jury’s consideration, but the court argued that the defense had already used two additional standing strikes, which occurs when a potential juror is dismissed without reason. or the need for clarification is waived. The defense requested an additional permanent strike but the request was denied, with the court holding that any error made during jury selection was harmless.
“That decision was clearly wrong,” Sotomayor replied. “The permanent strike already spent for the alleged biased juror to sit is no cure. The state court thus denied Love any meaningful review of her federal constitutional claim.”
The jury sentenced Love to death for conspiracy to commit murder for the 2015 murder that left the Dallas dentist dead. The jury then unanimously concluded that there was a substantial likelihood that Love would commit a future violent crime and that life in prison would not suffice.
“The task of reviewing records to determine whether a jury member was fair and impartial is challenging, but it must be done, especially when a person’s life is on the line.”
-Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Sotomayor said he would have vacated the lower court’s decision and ordered Love’s racial bias claim to receive due consideration.
“The act of reviewing records to determine whether a juror was fair and impartial is challenging, but it must be done, especially when a person’s life is on the line,” she said. “I will ensure that Love’s claim is heard by the Court of Criminal Appeals, rather than leaving these questions unanswered. I respectfully disagree.”
Love’s attorney, John Tatum, expressed his dismay to Courthouse News.
“Obviously, I agree with the disagreement that our legal system needs to cleanse itself of racial bias in jury selection and stop inappropriately using harmless error rules to block the application of laws, Which is to protect us from any racial bias in the application to an already accused citizen. Of criminal justice in this country,” he said in an email to the news outlet. Tatum did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment .
Love was introduced in 2018 on September 2, 2015 by pediatric dentist Dr. Kendra Hatcher was shot and sentenced to death. In this case, Hatcher was paid by Brenda Delgado to kill him after Hatcher began a new relationship with Delgado. Ex-lover, the court heard.
Delgado was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2019 for his role in the scheme. She then fled to Mexico out on bail, and Mexico determined that she would not face the death penalty as part of her extradition agreement, according to Oxygen.