The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to listen to an appeal brought by the State of Michigan to try to restore the murder conviction of Diapolis Smith, who was sentenced by an all-White jury in Grand Rapids, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Diapolis’s conviction was thrown out of court last year when his lawyers argued that the jury pool for his 1993 trial excluded minorities and the Whites who convicted him only say a “large, threatening-looking Black man.” The jury included no African-Americans even though 18 percent of those residing in Grand Rapids are Black. As a result, the state has adopted new ways of choosing jurors for specific cases.
Smith remains in prison while his lawyers wait for a bond hearing and the state attorneys ask the Supreme Court to overturn his appeal and leave matters like this in the hands of the state courts.–WLW
Do you think it’s fair that Diapolis Smith be freed on a violation against his Sixth Amendment right to trial by a fair and impartial jury?