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The nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice had sharp words for a prosecutor who asked an African-American defendant a racist question in a drug case, Reuters reports.”You’ve got African-Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money,” the unnamed prosecutor asked during a trial, according to Reuters. “Does that tell you – a light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, this is a drug deal?”
The Supreme Court refused to take the case and potentially give the defendant a retrial, but Sotomayor took the unusual step of writing a statement that condemned the prosecutor’s words, Reuters reported.
Sotomayor wrote that the prosecutor “tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation,” and that he had attempted to “substitute racial stereotype for evidence.”
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