10/27 defendant wants charges dismissed, argues unfair composition of grand jury
search
10/27 shootingCase update

10/27 defendant wants charges dismissed, argues unfair composition of grand jury

The defendant alleges the makeup of the grand jury was flawed because Black and Hispanic people were underrepresented in the jury pool.

A memorial outside the Tree of Life*Or L'Simcha synagogue after the massacre. (Photo by Jim Busis)
A memorial outside the Tree of Life*Or L'Simcha synagogue after the massacre. (Photo by Jim Busis)

The man charged with murdering 11 Jews in the Tree of Life building on Oct. 27, 2018, is arguing that the charges against him should be dismissed, or that he should be granted a new grand jury to consider his indictment, because minority groups were not adequately represented on the jury which indicted him three years ago, according to a report by the Tribune-Review.

Specifically, the defendant argues that Black and Hispanic people were underrepresented in the jury pool and that the grand jury that indicted him was all white.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in this case.

The defense motion, filed Dec. 7 and unsealed on Jan. 24, cites a study on death penalty cases that purports to show that “in the absence of Black male jurors, capital punishment was imposed in nearly 72% of cases where it was sought versus in nearly 43% when at least one Black man was on the jury,” the Tribune-Review reported.

Prosecuting attorneys responded that the defendant is not entitled to any relief because he cannot show “systemic underrepresentation” of minority groups in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose has not yet ruled on the motion. PJC

Toby Tabachnick

read more:
comments