Associated Press, September 18, 2021
A California appeals court on Friday overturned the convictions of three Black men over a double slaying, saying prosecutors dismissed a Black woman from the jury pool for racial reasons.
The prosecutor in the Contra Costa County case inappropriately questioned the 25-year-old woman’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement and dismissed her for reasons that “were plainly tied to race,” said a unanimous ruling by a division of the First Appellate District of California that was reported by the Bay Area News Group.
The ruling overturns the 2016 convictions of Sheldon Silas, 33; Reginald Whitley, 40, and Lamar Michaels, 34. The three are serving life in prison without possibility of parole for the shooting deaths of Christopher Zinn, 24, and his girlfriend, Brieanna Dow, 21.