Sonia Sotomayor Criticizes Prosecutor's Racially Charged Question

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor didn't hold back when criticizing racially charged language used by a federal prosecutor in Texas, even when the Supreme Court announced it would not take up the case. Sotomayor made the relatively unusual step of writing a statement to accompany the announcement, reports Reuters.

Taking issue with the unidentified Texas prosecutor who questioned a black defendant in a drug case, the prosecutor was quoted as saying: "You've got African-Americans, you've got Hispanics, you've got a bag full of money. Does that tell you - a light bulb doesn't go off in your head and say, this is a drug deal?"

Chiding the prosecutor, Sotomayor wrote that he "tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation," and that the question was "pernicious in its attempt to substitute racial stereotype for evidence." 

"I hope never to see a case like this again," she wrote. Justice Stephen Breyer signed on to Sotomayor's statement.

The court did not take up the case on Monday, because the defendant, Bongani Charles Calhoun, failed to raise his argument earlier in the appeals process as required by law. At the trial, Calhoun's argument was that although he was present when federal agents arrested him and several other men, he was unaware of the illegal activity taking place.

What do you think? Do you think his comments were racist? Comment below!

 

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