MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Once upon a time, African-Americans were not even allowed to sit on many juries. Now, a motion claims too many sat on one jury. But it is an argument that might not get very far.
Many say being impartial while sitting on a jury would not be a problem. No matter how personally offensive an alleged crime might be. Even if it involves a plot to kill dozens of blacks, including Barack Obama.
"You know the rule of law and you just have to follow it," Memphian Harold McRae said.
The attorney representing defendant Daniel Cowart believes the grand jury that indicted his client was racially stacked. He filed a motion Thursday in federal court.
It states that, "of the 23 jurors comprising the November 5, 2008, Grand Jury, two were white and 21 were African-American or of another race or races."
It goes on to read, "such a degree of under-representation of white jurors was not fair and reasonable."
But Memphis attorney Mike Scholl believes there are plenty of precautions in place to prevent racial bias.
"Our court system here goes through painstaking measures to try and make sure that you get a fair cross-section of the community that is random-based," Scholl said.
A grand jury's job is to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial. In this case, Scholl said the evidence was pretty convincing.
"It's not going to matter who your grand jury is," Scholl said.
Or what color their skin happens to be.
Scholl does not believe the motion will get very far.
Federal prosecutors have 10 days to respond.