A former lawyer for a man sitting on Oklahoma death row said his initial trial was unfair.
Amy McTeer represented John Marion Grant, who is scheduled to perform on October 28. McTeer said there were no other black men on Grant’s Osage County jury and the court treated him with unnecessary brutality.
“They wanted to present a picture of a monster to the jury, I think, and it was a black man who had to be a monster. I tried to articulate this, but it was almost too late. The jury had already seen him being treated like a monster, ”McTeer said.
Grant’s current lawyer, Public Defender Sarah Jernigan, said Grant was escorted arm-in-arm with Department of Corrections staff during his trial in 1999. The defense argued it was akin to be handcuffed. The judge ruled no, but told DOC staff to give Grant more freedom of movement.
McTeer also said his communication with the other lawyer in the case was complicated as they married about a year before the trial and then divorced just before the start.
“The mere fact of a divorce alone shows you that the level of communication may not have been up to par,” McTeer said.
McTeer herself has struggled with drug addiction issues and no longer practices law. She signed an affidavit admitting to using drugs during Grant’s trial.
McTeer said she has now been sober and sober for years and is doing well.
Grant was convicted of the murder of Gay Carter, 58. She was employed at the prison where he was serving a sentence for armed robbery.