Northwest News

Washington justices blast racist questioning by Grant County prosecutor

Washington's Supreme Court has unanimously overturned a man's conviction for assaulting police officers, blasting a series of racist remarks by the prosecutor who handled the case. During jury selection in the trial against Joseph Zamora, Garth Dano, then the elected prosecutor in central Washington's Grant County, repeatedly asked prospective jurors how they felt about illegal immigration, border security and crimes committed by illegal immigrants — even though Zamora was a U.S. citizen and the case had nothing to do with those topics. The justices said Thursday the questions invoked racist stereotypes that violated Zamora's right to a fair trial. They also expressed concern with the vicious beating officers gave Zamora, which left him comatose.

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