The head of North Carolina’s NAACP says the handwritten notes of the prosecutor in the Wilmington 10 trial reveal even more proof of racial bias in the jury selection of the 1972 trial. WHQR’s Sara Wood reports Reverend William Barber reaffirmed his stance on pardoning The Wilmington 10 today during a press conference in Raleigh.
Barber says Prosecutor Jay Stroud made notes next to the names of potential jurors for trial which revealed blatant racism toward black jurors during the selection process. A jury of 10 whites and two blacks convicted ten activists of fire-bombing a white-owned grocery store in Wilmington during the 1972 trial. The group served prison sentences until 1980 when the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their convictions. The NAACP and several other civil rights organizations are asking Governor Bev Perdue to pardon the 10 before she leaves office at the end of the year. Six of the Wilmington 10 are still alive today.