Racial Tensions Exposed During Hate Crime Trial

Finding a jury for the case involving the killing of Marcelo Lucero, a 37-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant, proved to be a difficult task for Justice Doyle. The 2008 stabbing of Lucero, for which seven teenagers are being brought to trial, “prompted widespread outrage and exposed racial tensions” in the Patchogue community. After a three-day jury selection, only five jurors were chosen out of 130 mostly white men and women. Other potential jurors were excused, claiming their views on illegal immigration, personal encounters with hate crimes, or family backgrounds caused bias. Some cited that they had Hispanic relatives or friends and therefore would support the victim’s case, while others used their strong views on illegal immigration as a reason to side with the defendant. Some potential jurors – while not excusing the murder of Lucero – even mentioned their racial intolerance as a reason for their inability to be impartial. To read the full story, click here.

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