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Wilmington 10 prosecutor’s notes in the spotlight

RALEIGH (AP) — The president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP says newly discovered notes by the prosecutor in the Wilmington 10 case show he engaged in racial profiling to select 12 people more likely to convict the suspects.

The Rev. William Barber held a news conference Tuesday in Raleigh to discuss the notes by Jay Stroud in the case involving the burning of a white-owned grocery store after a police officer shot and killed a black teenager. The notes were taken in the first case, which ended in a mistrial.

Ten activists were convicted of the arson in 1972 and jailed until 1980, when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions.

The NAACP and other groups are asking Gov. Beverly Perdue to pardon the activists.

One comment

  1. Some of the defects in the North Carolina court system can be easily corrected by AOC Director Judge John Smith per his duty under NCGS 7A-343:

    1. No court form exists to allow a defendant to plead not guilty in the state district courts.
    2. No court form exists to allow a defendant to demand or waive probable cause hearing in district court per NCGS 15A-606. (That’s why cases get continued for years).
    3. The ACIS court computer system records all court dates as jury trials. (So a court clerk doesn’t know if a defendant had a probable cause hearing before being forced into a jury trial).
    4. The ACIS court computer system doesn’t contain a field to allow a clerk to input a probable cause hearing.

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