After a white judge remarked that a Black man “looks like a criminal” and Black man’s civil rights were violated during a pretrial hearing, an appellate court decided that the black man was entitled to a new trial and overturned his 10-year sentence for narcotics charges.
Black Man’s Civil Rights Were Violated
Leron Liggins was sentenced of more than 10 years in federal prison in March 2022 by Judge Stephen J. Murphy. Murphy, a White man, said “he looks like a criminal” to Leron Liggins and the Black man’s civil rights were violated during a court hearing in January 2020. Andre B. Mathis, Karen Nelson Moore, and Eric L. Clay, the three judges on the appeals panel, concurred that Murphy’s comments were derogatory and that the federal judge’s remark that Leron Liggins “looks like a criminal” was troubling and the Black man’s civil rights were violated.
The appeals court said in its opinion about the Black man’s civil rights were violated by Murphy that the administration informs us that Leron Liggins’ behavior, not his appearance, was the subject of this criticism. However, this Court is unable to interpret the district judge’s remark. Instead, we focus primarily on the district judge’s comment and how Black man’s civil rights were violated by Murphy. Furthermore, regardless of the district judge’s intended intention, we must take into account the interpretation that a person watching this public hearing could have drawn, since we must be vigilant against both actual bias and the appearance of bias.
A New Trial for Leron Liggins
However, because of the Black man’s civil rights were violated the appeals court said that Murphy ought to have recused himself at Liggins’ counsel’s request. A heroin distribution conviction and 10-year jail term were overturned by the court, and a fresh trial with a different judge was mandated. Black man’s civil rights.