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Supreme Court hears death penalty case again

For the second time in two years, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard a case alleging racial bias in the death penalty trial of an African-American man from Texas.

Thomas Miller-El, 53, has been on death row for 19 years for a 1985 murder. He alleges that prosecutors systematically struck African-American jurors from his trial.

In February 2003, the court ordered a reconsideration of Miller-El's case. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed it, relying on the sole dissent of Justice Clarence Thomas.

According to news reports, the justices weren't happy to hear the case again. Justice Stephen G. Breyer and others said the 5th Circuit was wrong to follow the dissent.

Get the Story:
Court Hears Argument on Race Bias in Capital Case (The Washington Post 12/7)
Justices Give Second Hearing in a Texas Death Row Case (The New York Times 12/7)

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