Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Georgia death row inmate Timothy Tyrone Foster. Foster, who is black, was convicted in Floyd County of the 1986 murder of a white schoolteacher, Queen Madge White. During jury selection, prosecutors removed all four black prospective jurors through preemptory challenges. When questioned as to their motivations for removing the black jurors, prosecutors presented race neutral justifications. Later evidence from the prosecution’s notes, however, suggest something more nefarious may have been afoot.
As SCOTUSblog describes, the prosecutors’ records strongly indicate the jurors’ removal was racially motivated. Despite the new evidence, the Georgia Superior Court rejected the race discrimination claim and the Georgia Supreme Court subsequently denied to hear Foster’s case. Foster has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to answer whether the “Georgia courts err[ed] in failing to recognize race discrimination…in the extraordinary circumstances of this death penalty case?”
Timothy Tyrone Foster’s petition to the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Olens’ brief in opposition.