ST. LOUIS (AP) -- An Illinois appeals court has ordered a new trial for a black man sentenced to 85 years in prison in a 2010 shooting death, saying comments the prosecutor made to an all-white jury amounted to "naked prejudice."
The Mount Vernon-based 5th District Appellate Court on Friday threw out Marcus Marshall's 2011 conviction in the Marion killing.
The appellate court found it had no choice but to order the new trial. It cited Williamson County State's Attorney Charles Garnati's courtroom arguments, which included a reference to "our white world" even though race had nothing to do with the case.
The court, in its seven-page ruling, called the comments "naked prejudice."
Serving his eighth four-year term as Williamson County's top prosecutor, Garnati has acknowledged the errors.