In this particular case, did the jury convict these men because they were convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that they were culpable, or because they were convinced that the defendants were Black?
The preponderance of Blacks and Latinos in this nation's jails render skin color-aroused animosity an inevitably relevant part of our analysis when Blacks and Latinos are accused of a crime, tried and convicted, and when they plead guilty rather than facing the wrath of an all-white jury or judge. There are those who say skin color should never be considered an issue unless it is proved that skin color was involved. I say that the evidence of skin-color-aroused procedures and results is discovered when it is researched.
The following is an article posted in the Northampton News, under the headline,
"Tic Toc shooting defense attorney claims jury made 'grievous error," by Sarah Cassi.
September 02, 2009, 10:00AM
A Northampton County jury ignored the evidence when they found two men guilty in the 2006 shooting outside the Tic Toc Family Restaurant in Palmer Township, attorney Eric Dowdle said."The jury's verdict is either the product of indifference or ignorance," said Dowdle, who represents Terrence Fitzpatrick. "The verdict cannot be allowed to stand ... there is a grievous error that has been made."
Fitzpatrick and Brandon Fleming were both sentenced in June to 20 to 40 years each in state prison for the Nov. 25, 2006, shooting of Marvin Dowe and Nataki Bryan.
Both men appealed their convictions to the state Superior Court, which is holding a special session in Northampton County Court.Assistant District Attorney James Augustine said it's the jury's directive to reject or accept evidence. Dowdle's argument is asking the court to subvert the jury's decision, Augustine argued.
Dowdle said Fitzpatrick's conviction was based solely on Dowe's testimony, while other witnesses' testimony cleared Fitzpatrick. If the jury relied on Dowe's testimony, Fleming should have been found innocent, Dowdle said.