Timothy Gilbert of Giles County, Tenn., was convicted of “aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and resisting arrest.”
All that has been thrown out the door. A Tennessee appeals court unanimously agreed that Gilbert deserves a new trial because an all-white jury deliberated in a room with a small Confederate flag in a frame, as well as a painting of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
A jury room with a Confederate flag and a portrait of Jefferson Davis. Aren't there any judges in charge of this courthouse? This should be a no brainer.
Black Man Wins New Trial Over Confederate Memorabilia in Jury Room https://t.co/KyHvDUl7an
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) December 5, 2021
The 31-page decision read, in part,
The defendant also argues that permitting both the grand and petit juries to deliberate in a room in the Giles County Courthouse maintained by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (“U.D.C.”) and adorned with various mementos of the Confederacy exposed the jury to extraneous prejudicial information and violated his constitutional rights to a fair trial conducted by an impartial jury, due process, and equal protection under the law.
What effect these Confederate trinkets may have had on the jury is unknown. More importantly, will more criminals get new trials if their juries met in this room? Will it only affect convictions with all-white juries? Will people found not guilty by black juries be brought back for a re-trial?
What if white jurors deciding the fate of black defendants saw the flag, felt guilty, and let the perps walk?
How many Southern courthouses have Confederate mementos from the Civil War in them? Are statues of Southern generals nearby? Can they be seen from a window? This could potentially result in the release and re-trial of thousand of black people convicted of crimes.
Or is this all just another ridiculous step in the direction of the ridiculously “woke”?
The Twitter-tards couldn’t wait to opine. I have no idea what this response tweet is supposed to mean, but judging by this dope’s handle, I’m guessing he is a lib.
Its time to tell the south they lost and that continued bullshit from them will be harshly punished. Its like we put up ISIS posters in public buildings or something. WTF south.
— Allen vaccinated but still masking dammit Hoffman! (@twithoff) December 5, 2021
Prosecutors argued that another jury, in an unrelated case, found Gilbert “not guilty” after deliberating in the same room. The appellate court decided that wasn’t relevant.
“That the defendant was acquitted by a different jury on unrelated charges has no bearing at all on the question whether the jury, in this case, was exposed to extraneous prejudicial information or improper outside influence,” the three-person appellate ruling stated.
The question no one seems to be asking is, why can’t white juries be trusted? Why do people assume white people can’t be trusted to return a just verdict? Will seeing a small Confederate flag REALLY fill a white jury with a burning desire to convict an innocent black man? Making that assumption seems pretty racist to me.