Chapel Hill, N.C. — 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 jurors more likely to convict the suspects.
Rev. William Barber held a news conference Tuesday in Chapel Hill to release the entire archive of secret records from the case, revealing what the NAACP describes as "illegal, intentional and decisive racial discrimination."
The NAACP and other groups are asking Gov. Beverly Perdue to pardon the activists.
"The ugly truths, now revealed today, now even more revealed, demand a long overdue pardon of the Wilmington 10," Barber said. "North Carolina must own up to the truth about her past in this case."
The notes are in regard to a case that involves 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.