From the article:
For the second time, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from a death row inmate who claims jurors sentenced him to die because he is gay.
In 1993, Charles Rhines was sentenced to capital punishment for murdering Donnivan Schaeffer—an employee at Dig Em Donuts in Rapid City, South Dakota—while robbing the store. But more than two decades later, jurors came forward with new information claiming that bias against Rhines’ sexual orientation played a role in deciding whether he should spend life in prison or be sentenced to death.
In 2016, Frances Cersosimo—a member of the jury that convicted Rhines—claimed in a sworn statement the defendant’s sexuality played a major part of the deliberations. According to Cersosimo, an unidentified member of the panel claimed jurors would be “sending him where he wants to go” if they voted for life in prison without parole.
The thing is, we have to care about everyone when it comes to bigotry. Yes, this man killed someone, but if the only reason he was give the death sentence was that the jurors thought he’d enjoy prison sex because he was gay? That’s bigotry.
Disclaimer: I am opposed to the death penalty because of its unequal application over minorities, and the fallibility of the legal system. I didn’t used to feel that way. I was very pro-death penalty when I was young. Then I started reading up on the statistics of its application for a class in college.
They stopped keeping statistics, because ‘reasons’, but the application of the death penalty is not something white guys have to worry as much about. They did not have LGBTQ stats, but racially it was applied mostly against black men.
In all honesty, I am opposed to the jury system. I would prefer that my justice system was administrated less as a PR stunt for the jurors, who weren’t able to get out of jury duty, and left to trained professionals in law.
Most other countries do not do juries, because of the inherent fallibility of that system.