Questions of Race Hang Over Political Corruption Trial of John Wiley Price

Race played a role in the selection of a jury Tuesday for John Wiley Price's federal corruption trial. And if the defense has its way, race will also factor in the presentation of evidence to jurors. Shirley Baccus-Lobel, Price's attorney, wants to raise the question of selective prosecution based on race. The government has objected, claiming it's irrelevant and prejudicial. U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn has not specifically ruled on the matter but may have to rule separately on related issues as they come up during the trial, on a case by case basis. Both defendants in this trial -- Price and his executive assistant Dapheny Fain -- are black. So is Kathy Nealy, Price's political consultant, who will be tried at a later date. None of the mostly white-owned businesses that prosecutors said paid the bribes were charged in the case.   Continue reading...

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