Six years ago, three men went to the apartment of Anthony Manzo Johnson to threaten him with a firearm. He ended up dead in what appears tragically to have been a case of mistaken identity. The three perpetrators
were Narada Roberts, his brother Roderick Roberts, and Kirk Ricardo Saintcalle. As well as depriving a man of his life, this senseless action deprived a wife of her husband and his three kids of a father.
Saintcalle was convicted two years later and was given a total of 48 years behind bars; while his two co-defendants accepted their guilt and took a plea bargain for 19 year sentences, Saintcalle appears to have believed that as the principle perpetrator he had nothing to lose by pleading not guilty.
This month, his conviction was upheld, but the Supreme Court of Washington State made a somewhat surprising - and extremely boring - finding. Guilty or not, Saintcalle's conviction was tainted with racism
. And the basis for this claim? That the prosecution successfully challenged the only potential black juror in the venire. There has been some fanciful spin put on this decision, so let us see what the potential juror herself, Anna Tolson, said. You can read more here
, but this extract is extremely informative. Asked if she felt she would be able to sit in judgment on someone in so serious a case, she replied: "I think number one, because I am a Christian, I know I can listen to the facts and, you know, follow the judge's instruction. But also it's kind of hard, and I haven't mentioned this before because none of those questions have come up for me to answer, but I lost a friend two weeks ago to a murder, so it's kind of difficult sitting here. Even though I don't know the facts of this particular case, and I would like to think that I can be fair because I am a Christian, I did lose someone two weeks ago."
The prosecutor recognised the case to which she referred; the victim was Tyrone Love
, a young black man who was gunned down on his way home from a party.
Ask yourself this, if you were about to stand trial for murder, would you want a young woman who'd had this recent experience to sit in judgment on you? If you were standing trial for rape, how would you feel about the mother of a rape victim sitting on the jury? This is common sense, and by striking Anna Tolson from the jury pool, the prosecution did not prejudice Saintcalle, it may have done him a favour, but the weight of evidence against him was clearly overwhelming, and he was duly convicted.
The most remarkable thing about Saintcalle's totally vacuous appeal is not that this facile claim of racial discrimination in jury selection was his only
ground of appeal but that the lead appellate judge wrote in his opinion: "...a growing body of evidence shows that racial discrimination remains rampant in jury selection". Indeed.
After alluding to the well-known Batson
decision, Justice Wiggins said: "racism is often unintentional, institutional, or unconscious".
He might also have added that nowadays it is mostly statistical, which is another way of saying contrived, and in this case totally without merit.
The phrase statistical racism
appears to have been coined in 1994 when it was used to counter the speciousness of the much hyped Baldus
study which purports to show - but in fact does not - racial bias in the application of the death penalty in the State of Georgia.
The Congressional debate on the Racial Justice Act hit the nail on the head
"The Racial Justice Act
is a nasty, mean-spirited, death-by-racial-quota requirement that will effectively repeal the death penalty in America if enacted, and that is deliberately titled so as to coerce Senators into voting for it or risk being branded racist."
It adds further: "Cases cannot be fairly compared unless every nuance of each case is thoroughly understood, but in capital cases especially, which are extremely complex, that type of comparison is impossible. The fact that approximately 50 percent of all murders are committed by blacks, but 60 percent of all criminals on death row are white, for example, does not mean that juries are biased against whites. Similarly, the fact that murderers of whites are far more likely to be executed than murderers of blacks does not mean that juries value the lives of blacks less than they do whites. Without looking at any other variables, though, those two statistics clearly draw an inference of discrimination. If other variables are controlled for, depending on which variables are controlled, those inferences and any other inference that can be raised can be either strengthened or weakened. With the loose definitions in this bill, a case can be literally made for every single prisoner on death row that his or her sentence was influenced by racism."
As those opposing this contrived nonsense recognised, people who raise such issues are not concerned primarily or at all with justice (as in the Saintcalle case) but with furthering other agendas.
is inherently dishonest because it is based on statistics and facts torn out of context, and often in the case of the former plucked out of thin air. To illustrate this, let us use a totally innocuous comparison. The game of snooker was invented in India, yet to date every single world professional snooker champion has been a white man, and all but three of these — Horace Lindrum, Cliff Thorburn and then Neil Robertson — hail from the British Isles.. Does this mean the game of snooker is both racist
in the extreme, or are there other factors at work here?
As might be suspected, there is more to this than meets the eye, for example, not every
single world champion has been white, and if the Chinese have anything to do with it, the British Isles monopoly
will soon be broken.
The simple point is that human beings are not statistics; even if racial, cultural and national differences did not exist, there would still be wide disparities in crime, conviction rates, tastes in food, music, etc. Kirk Saintcalle is behind bars not because of racism
but because he murdered a man. It is really as simple as that.
A lot more could be written about this subject, and indeed has, but the proponents of such nonsense are immune to logic, reason, rational argument and most of all, evidence. They will keep parroting this racism
fantasy as they are in the recent tragic case of Trayvon Martin
. And why shouldn't they as their incessant whining has now apparently infected at least one justice of an American state appellate court? For those who are interested in the truth, both Thomas Sowell
and Walter Williams debunked this nonsense a decade and more before the term statistical racism
was first used. Here is relatively young Williams totally destroying all this statistical garbage
on crime and everything else.
Clearly there are some race agitators who would like to see whites excluded from all juries in cases which involve a black defendant or victim. One person who would probably not agree is Angela Davis
who 41 years ago was acquitted of murder, among other things, by an all-white jury, like Casey Anthony in spite of
rather than because of the evidence.
Finally, here are some interesting cases from a UK perspective