Man released from death row will have to wait for day in court

Rodricus Crawford given court date of Feb. 22 for further proceedings

SHREVEPORT, La. - Rodricus Crawford, who was freed in November after spending almost three years on death row, was in Caddo District Court today to set a date for arguments and hearings regarding a new trial.

In November, was released on $50,000 bond, after the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned his first degree murder conviction and subsequent death penalty and remanded his case back to Caddo District Court for a new trial.

Crawford, who was convicted by a Caddo Parish Jury in November 2013 for the February 2012 death of his 12-month-old baby, was sentenced to the death penalty in February 2014, and was sent to death row to await his execution.

But in the high court’s November decision, the majority agreed with Crawford’s attorneys who claimed the prosecution in Crawford’s trial was racially biased in striking five African-American prospective jurors. The jury ultimately consisted of nine white jurors and three African-Americans.

Publicity surrounding the case, which was spotlighted in a lengthy article in the New Yorker magazine and a subsequent article in the New York Times, drew public scrutiny not only to Crawford’s case, but to the large amount of prisoners on death row from Caddo Parish, most of whom were African American.

Crawford and his attorneys will be back in court on Feb. 22 for arguments and hearings. He remains free on bond. 

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