Ruling rejects allegations about jury bias

April 6, 2005 at 1:23 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 6 (UPI) -- A California judge ruled a former prosecutor lied in alleging Jews were systematically excluded from a jury in a 1987 case that sent a man to death row.

County Judge Kevin Murphy issued the ruling after five days of hearings in San Jose to investigate the allegation by former Alameda County prosecutor John "Jack" Quatman, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Murphy, in his conclusions to the state Supreme Court, said Quatman was not a credible witness and that his allegations of illegal advice from then-Judge Stanley Golde were not to be believed, the report said.

The ruling makes it less likely the high court will grant Fred Freeman a new trial, the Chronicle said quoting an attorney who believes Quatman was telling the truth. Quatman was not available for comment. Freeman was convicted of robbery-murder and recommended the death penalty.

Quatman, who retired in 1997, said in 2003 that it was "standard practice" in Alameda County to exclude Jews and African-American women from death-penalty juries, the report said.

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