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Black man convicted of assault by white jury meets in room with Confederate logo to be retried

A Black man has been retried after he was found guilty of assault by an all-white grand jury, who intentionally stayed in a room decorated with Confederate symbols.

TennesseeThe Court of Criminal Appeals ruled on Friday that Tim Gilbert will receive a new trial after agreeing that the jury could be influenced by the symbols of Federal displayed in the room where they decided the fate of the 56-year-old Black man.

Mr. Gilbert was sentenced to six years in prison in June 2020 for aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm of a convict and resisting arrest for an alleged incident. alleged in 2018.

The jury found him guilty on the charges that reached their decision in the jury room at Giles County Courthouse, which contained a portrait of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and a card. Ancient Confederate flags hung on the wall.

The room is also named after the United Dau Daughter of the Confederacy – a group founded in 1894 to honor and remember the female descendants of Confederate Civil War soldiers.

Mr. Gilbert’s legal team filed an appeal arguing that Confederate symbols in the room and the jury’s racial makeup meant he was denied a right to a fair trial. .

The appeals court judges unanimously agreed on Friday, saying the jury may have been influenced by the Confederacy’s decoration.

“Because the State has insufficient grounds to refute the presumption that the defendant was prejudiced by the jury’s exposure to Confederate memorabilia in the UDC Chamber, defendant has the right to a trial new,” the ruling read.

“Accordingly, we reverse the rulings of the trial court and set aside the case for a new trial.”

The appellate judges also said the prosecutor at the trial admitted a “challenged witness statement, and that error cannot be considered innocuous”.

The ruling overturns a lower court ruling last year that denied Mr Gilbert’s request for a new trial.

The decision comes amid a national reckoning around racist and Confederate symbols across the US following protests for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd. Several statues of Confederate leaders were removed last year.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/tim-gilbert-white-jury-confederate-retrial-b1970181.html Black man convicted of assault by white jury meets in room with Confederate logo to be retried

JACLYN DIAZ

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