In 1987 Steven Crittenden killed a white couple inside their Chico, California home. They were gruesome torture murders that shocked California.
During the trial, a massive amount of evidence was presented to the jury. Police found Crittenden’s footprint and thumbprint inside the home. The day after the murder he tried to cash a check from one of the victim’s for $3,000. The victims had been tied up, gagged, then beaten and stabbed.
Crittenden was convicted of first degree murder and put on Death Row.
Since being sentenced, his laywer’s have filed seventeen appeals at taxpayer expense. During the appeal process he has admitted to killing the couple, but says his intention was only to rob them.
Now a Federal judge has ordered his release or retrial. Not based on guilt or innocence. Not based on any evidence. Based solely on the fact that their were no blacks on the jury. Chico, California, where the horrific double torture murders took place, has never had a significant black population.
The judge is U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. She accused former chief deputy Jerry Flanagan of the Butte County District Attorney’s Office of ”consciously or unconsciously” being a racist for not placing a potential black female juror on the jury.
Prosecutors say that the potential black female juror was dismissed because it was a death penalty case, and she stated that she did not believe in the death penalty.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller was appointed by Barack Obama.