Friday, January 18, 2008
Race, class and murder.. All in just one case



Jami Floyd
"In Session" Anchor/360 Contributor


The fate of a black trash collector convicted of murdering a well-known white fashion writer now rests with the judge who heard the case, which aired live on In Session (then Court TV) last year.

Barnstable Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson yesterday heard juror testimony in a rare public hearing to decide whether racial bias tainted the jury's decision.

Judge Nickerson is facing unchartered legal territory as he weighs whether to grant a new trial to Christopher McCowen. Uncharted legal territory but not an uncommon occurrence.

Bias in the jury room is a pervasive problem in our system of justice. The McCowen case simply presents an extreme and terribly clear example.

Whatever the judge decides, his ruling will be appealed to a higher court, prolonging a sad saga that has captivated Cape Cod and beyond since Christa Worthington’s body was found in her Truro home in 2002. If there's even a hint of prejudice in the jury deliberations, McCown should get a new trial.

Check out more Jami Floyd blogs on 'In Session'
Posted By CNN: 3:52 PM ET
  1 Comments
What jury is completely bias free? I doubt many of them. Bias on the jury has been a problem since the beginning of our country; its worsened lately as our society becomes more polarized.

I hope the man gets a fair trial. A fair and impartial trial is suppose to be part of the bedrock of our society. I hope that this bedrock has not cracked irreparably.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 4:37 PM ET
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