Conviction Of Black Man Tossed After Prosecutor Recited ‘Dixie’ In Closing Argument
[su_right_ad]If you’re prosecuting a black man and want to seem fair and not racially-biased, reciting the lyrics from “Dixie” is not a good way to go.
The man, James D. Kirk, 46, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his 2013 conviction on charges of lewd conduct and sexual battery of a minor child. But in a ruling made public this week, the Idaho Court of Appeals overturned Kirk’s conviction, finding that Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin’s recitation of “Dixie” during closing arguments unconstitutionally tainted his trial by “injecting the risk of racial prejudice into the case.” The state attorney general’s office told The Idaho Statesman of Boise that it was still reviewing the opinion.
In the ruling, which is dated Dec. 19, the court quoted Kallin as having told jurors: “Ladies and gentlemen, when I was a kid we used to like to sing songs a lot. I always think of this one song. Some people know it. It’s the Dixie song. Right? ‘Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton. Good times not forgotten. Look away. Look away. Look away.’ And isn’t that really what you’ve kind of been asked to do?”[su_csky_ad]