WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will consider a New Orleans case involving an African-American man who was sentenced to death by an all-white jury.
At issue is whether prosecutor Jim Williams violated the constitutional rights of defendant Allen Snyder by removing all the potential black jurors at the start of Snyder's 1996 trial, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
The Snyder case is not the first involving allegations of misconduct by Williams. Of five African-American men he sent to death row in the mid-1990s, two have been exonerated, another two have had their sentences commuted to life and a fifth won a retrial after an appeals court overturned the verdict.
In addition to deciding whether Snyder lives or dies, the case will affect how courts around the country weigh claims of unlawful racial discrimination during the jury selection process.
At the end of Snyder's trial, prosecutor Williams exhorted the all-white jury to give Snyder the death sentence because the case was similar to the "most famous murder case" just a year earlier in which former football star O.J. Simpson "got away with it."