Key issues • Washington

WA Supreme Court overturns Black man’s rape conviction over bias in jury selection

The Washington Supreme Court has unanimously overturned the rape conviction of a Black man in King County, finding the trial judge improperly turned aside objections from the man’s lawyer, who claimed prosecutors may have dismissed two prospective jurors of color due to racial bias.

The justices, in a 21-page opinion invoking a state judicial rule that’s the first of its kind nationwide, vacated Amanuel Tesfasilasye’s third-degree rape conviction and sent his case back to King County Superior Court to be retried, settled by plea agreement or dismissed.

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