State News

NAACP alleges jury profiling in case of Wilmington 10

Posted November 27, 2012

— 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 a jury that would be more favorable for a conviction.

Ten activists were convicted of arson in 1972 for burning a white-owned grocery store during race riots that followed a police officer's fatal shooting of a black teenager.

Three key witnesses in the case later recanted their testimony, and all 10 men were freed in 1980 when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., threw out the convictions, saying perjury and prosecutorial misconduct were factors in the verdicts.

State NAACP President Rev. William Barber said notes taken by former Pender County prosecutor Jay Stroud show he lied to a judge to get a mistrial so he could pick another jury in the case. He then used a race-based strategy during jury selection.

The notes in Stroud's handwriting show "KKK? (good)" next to the names of potential white jurors, and a black member of the jury pool was referred to as an "Uncle Tom." Stroud used his challenges to remove blacks from the jury pool, Barber said.

"This new evidence is a nightmare. It's a nightmare to see evidence of this district attorney committing such egregious acts of hate and racism on behalf of the citizens of North Carolina," Barber said. "The evidence clearly reveals the injustice that took place in the convictions of the Wilmington 10 and the entrenched racism that polluted the process."

Stroud, whose law license was suspended in 2006, couldn't be reached Tuesday for comment. His son, Kirk Stroud, said his father would have no comment on the NAACP's allegations.

Wilmington 10 prosecutor notes Activists' supporters say evidence of bias bolsters push for pardons

Irving Joyner, a law professor at North Carolina Central University, said spending several years in prison took a toll on the men.

"They have suffered mightily. They have lost everything," Joyner said. "Careers are gone, educational opportunities gone, employment destroyed (and) families demolished as a result of the consequences."

The NAACP and other groups have asked Gov. Beverly Perdue to pardon the activists, four of whom have died, before she leaves office in early January.

"The petition for the Pardon of Innocence on behalf of the Wilmington 10, like each petition, is being considered on its own merits," Perdue spokeswoman Chris Mackey said in a statement. "There is no timetable by which the governor has to make a decision."

Veteran civil rights attorney Al McSurely said the State Bureau of Investigation should look into Stroud's actions in the case.

"This is direct evidence. This evidence should put Mr. Stroud in jail," McSurely said.


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  • Sherlock Nov 29, 2012

    The NAACP is one if not the biggest raceist organizations around it says that it works for everyone but it does not, never have seen them say anything about other races othe than blacks, this group should be investigated by the FBI/SBI.

  • Crumps Br0ther Nov 28, 2012

    @driverkid3 asked, "What has barber done exactly?" Lately, he has fought to ensure that all public school children are treated equally regardless of skin color and that prosecuters who inappropriately (illegally?) create racial-biases are investigated. That sounds pretty honorable to me.

    Bussing kids all over creation in the name of "diversity" is bad for the planet because of the carbon footprints left by the busses. why do you hate the planet?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 28, 2012

    @driverkid3, each non-profit group does what it can for causes they feel are the most important. Ex. Why do churches spend $2 million on a pipe organ & fancy cars & real-estate holdings, instead of working to stop the 30,000+ children from dying of starvation every day?

    @driverkid3 asked, "What has barber done exactly?" Lately, he has fought to ensure that all public school children are treated equally regardless of skin color and that prosecuters who inappropriately (illegally?) create racial-biases are investigated. That sounds pretty honorable to me.

  • Sweetgrl3 Nov 28, 2012

    Someone needs to ban the NAACP. They are a bunch of racist pigs. This is why we can't move past racism. All Barber wants is publicity and no one is paying much attention to him.

  • storchheim Nov 28, 2012

    "" . . . you can't pretend racism didn't exist and doesn't exist; because it does."

    And if you're a "diversity", you're not called on it.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 28, 2012

    That must be some stick he using. He's stirred that thing for a long time and it ain't broke yet but it's getting weak. Have no respect for a racist preaching about others being racist.

  • storchheim Nov 28, 2012

    issy, when I hear about Jewish gangs gunning down old men who deliver Chinese food, or breaking into the class president's room, forcing her to withdraw money, driving her around for hours before MURDERING her as she begs them to pray with her, raping and murdering their "fiance's" babies, and best of all living off the taxpayers, I'll consider them to be every bit as low and worthless of breath as I do black and latino gangs.

  • godshelper Nov 28, 2012

    I am sure they were not innocent of this. They probably didnt get a fair trial but i am sure they had a hand in what they were charged with.

  • driverkid3 Nov 28, 2012

    geosol::::When you read the comments posted here by the right wingers, it's obvious that we still need organizations like the NAACP to stand up for the rights of the poor and minorities.

    I am a republican, what you and your ilk call a "right winger". I have been fighting for equal treatment since the early 50's when I found out my best friend couldn't go to school with me because she was Black. I have heard far more libs refer to Black people by that despicable N word, I've heard libs degrade them and eexpress hatred in so many ways, it's pathetic. And YOU with that snollygoster attitude want to come prancing in and blame all this on the rightwingers. I'd laugh at you if you weren't so pathetic.

  • driverkid3 Nov 28, 2012

    piene2, if you are indeed a member of the NAACP, and you "love" what barber is doing, please......tell me what specifically he has done to stop the black on black frime here in Goldsboro, or anywhere else for that matter. What has he done to actually HELP anyone? Can you answer that question, or will you dance away from it? I am white and firmly beleive in equal treatment for everyone and live it every day AND have done so for most of my 64 years. I fought this garbage when I was too young to know what racism was about and have been doing so since. So YOU tell me. What has barber done exactly?