Supreme Court Overturns La. Death Sentence

Blacks wrongly blocked from jury in case compared to OJ
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2008 5:09 AM CDT
Supreme Court Overturns La. Death Sentence
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., who joined the majority in the 7-2 decision to order a retrial for Allen Snyder.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

The Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a former Marine awaiting execution on Louisiana's death row. Allen Snyder, an African-American, was convicted of fatally stabbing his estranged wife and her boyfriend, but the court ruled 7-2 that prosecutors acted improperly by using its challenges to seat an all-white jury, reports the Washington Post.

During the trial the prosecutor called Snyder's trial his "OJ Simpson case," and during the sentencing phase he told lawyers that Simpson "got away with it"—a statement that Chief Justice John Roberts probed during oral arguments. Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, ruled that the prosecution was "motivated in substantial part by discriminatory intent." Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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