In 1990, Keith Tharpe ambushed and assaulted his ex-wife and shot and killed her sister, Jacquelin Freeman. A few months later, a jury convicted him of those crimes and unanimously voted in favor of a death sentence.
He was set to be executed on Sept. 26 when his lawyers presented to the Supreme Court a statement from Barney Gattie, one of the jurors in Tharpe’s case.
Gattie had spoken to defense lawyers in 1998 and said he saw “two types of black people,” some of whom were “nice black folks” like Freeman and her family. He used the n-word to characterize the others.
“I felt Tharpe, who wasn’t in the good’ black folks category in my book, should get the electric chair for what he did After studying the Bible, I have wondered if black people even have souls,” according to Gattie’s statement.