The BrownWatch: News for People of Color – White Man charged with Murder of 13-year-old Black Boy Wants trial moved – Forum Shopping to Avoid Black Jurors?

Does Killer’s Attorney think Black jurors too stupid to be impartial 

Racist Suspect John Spooner is accused of murdering Darius Simmons, an unarmed black 13 year old in front of his mother in an unprovoked shooting in the front of her home on May 31 in Milwaukee. After the murder, even though Spooner confessed to the murder, the police searched the mother’s home, detained her for hours and arrested her other son. [MORE]  Possibly to avoid non-white jurors Spooner initially requested a bench trial. Then he changed his mind and requested a jury trial – and to possibly avoid non-white jurors in Milwaukee he now wants to change court location. In other words, his explanation for the venue change appears pre-textual. -bw 

As Justice Thurgood Marshall explained, “no one can be expected to perceive himself to be a full participant in our society as a whole, when he is told by a representative of the government that, because of his race, he is too stupid or too biased to serve on a particular jury.”[MORE]  From [HERE] The 76-year-old white man charged with killing his 13-year-old black neighbor wants his upcoming trial moved out of Milwaukee County because of the publicity the case has received.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey A. Wagner set a Dec. 21 hearing date to rule on the motion to change venue or impanel a jury from another county. Spooner’s case remains scheduled for trial in January.  Prosecutors will have to file a reply to the motion prior to that hearing date. A brief supporting the motion suggests that news reports about the case have inflamed public sentiment toward the case and biased potential jurors against Spooner, citing comments readers have left to online versions of news reports. (as if the internet does not exist outside Milwaukee.)

The brief, submitted by Franklyn Gimbel, also suggests that a hearing may be necessary to play reports from radio and television which he argues amount to inflammatory attempts to influence public opinion.

Spooner’s attorneys had earlier indicated he would let Wagner hear the case during a bench trial, but indicated Monday that Spooner now wants a jury trial, making the impact of pre-trial publicity a potential issue.

Defendants must meet a high threshold to convince judges that such coverage of their case is so extensive and prejudicial that it would make it impossible to seat a unbiased local jury.

Prosecutors say Spooner shot and killed Darius Simmons outside their homes on W. Arrow St. May 31,  a couple days after Spooner suspects the boy and two other youths had broken into his home and stolen four expensive shotguns.

According to the criminal complaint, Spooner confronted Darius on the sidewalk about 9:45 a.m. and demanded the guns back. After the boy and his mother, Patricia Larry, denied he had the guns, Spooner shot Darius twice. The boy ran around the corner and collapsed, and Spooner waited for police to arrive.

Advocacy groups contend the shooting was racially motivated and asked that Spooner also be charged with a hate crime.

A Fire and Police Commission report also found fault with how investigators treated Larry, her family and her home during the initial investigation.

She has sued Spooner for wrongful death of her son.

The BrownWatch: News for People of Color. – BrownWatch News – White Man charged with Murder of 13-year-old Black Boy Wants trial moved – Forum Shopping to Avoid Black Jurors?.

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