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California judge orders investigation into possible exclusion of Black and Jewish jurors in Alameda County death penalty cases

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price announced that all death penalty cases in the county are under review due to evidence that prosecutors in a 30-year-old case excluded Black and Jewish people from the jury, violating the Constitution. The review came after U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria directed Price to review the case of Ernest Dykes, who won a stay of execution in 2011 and claims he did not receive a fair trial. Chhabria’s order stated that prosecutors engaged in a pattern of serious misconduct, prompting Price to review 35 death penalty cases for prosecutorial misconduct potentially dating back to 1977. Price emphasized the ethical obligation of prosecutors to ensure fair trials regardless of political beliefs. Governor Gavin Newsom halted California’s death penalty in 2019, citing an unfair and wasteful system.


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