Court Overturns Ohio Death Sentence After Defense Expert Testifies that One Quarter of Urban Black Men Should be Locked Up or Thrown Away

This story from the Death Penalty Information Center shows some consequences of the racialization of mental health in the criminal justice system: “In a unanimous ruling on August 22, 2022, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that the “racialized testimony” offered by a defense expert at the trial of Malik Allah-U-Akbar (pictured) “offends the Constitution on its face” and that Akbar’s defense counsel was ineffective in presenting it to the jury. The court, which referred to Akbar by his prior name, Odraye Jones, ordered that Akbar be granted a new sentencing trial. (Akbar legally changed his name while his federal habeas corpus proceedings were pending.)