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Potential juror bias in RJA Hearing reviewed

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FAYETTEVILLE—Defense attorney's continued to question the prosecution's lead witness in a Racial Justice Act hearing in Cumberland County.

Three convicted killers are trying to get their death row sentences converted to life in prison without parole under the newly revised law. Lawyers for Tilmon Golphin, Quintel Augustine, and Christina Walters are arguing race played a role in their death sentences.

Friday, retired assistant district attorney Cal Colyer explained how he chose jurors in several trials. Defense attorneys questioned Colyer on the decision to keep or strike back potential jurors in several trials.

Defense attorney Jay Ferguson questioned Colyer on the specifics behind the trial for Golphin in 1998. The trial was held in Johnston County, where Ferguson claimed to be the home of the Ku Klux Klan. Colyer denied knowing that.

"I didn't have any input in the venue selection and if I signed any kind of stipulation, if you have a document with my signature on it, I would have signed that at the suggestion of the district attorney's office based on the decisions that were made by persons other than myself,” said Colyer.

Ferguson told the court few black people had been tried in Johnston County and not been sentenced to the death penalty.

He went on to question Colyer's notes on asking jurors, particularly black men and women, about their interactions with law enforcement in traffic stops. The prosecution plans to call their final witness on Monday.

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