Attorneys for death row inmate want Slager jury list for appeal process

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson (Source: Live 5)
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson (Source: Live 5)
Michael Slager testified in court in his state trial in November. (Source: Pool)
Michael Slager testified in court in his state trial in November. (Source: Pool)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Attorneys for a South Carolina death row inmate filed a motion Tuesday asking for the jury list from Michael Slager's first trial, as part of their effort to get his conviction thrown out.

William Dickerson is on death row for the murder of Gerald Roper in 2006. He says Solicitor Scarlett Wilson unfairly struck blacks from serving on the jury of his trial, and his attorneys commissioned a study to be conducted by the Michigan State University School of Law to determine if Wilson has a pattern and practice of striking African American jurors.

Dickerson's attorneys want the jury list from Slager's trial as part of their effort to have his conviction thrown out.

Slager is the former North Charleston police officer who was charged in the April 4, 2015, shooting death of motorist Walter Scott. Scott fled a traffic stop and Slager said he fired at Scott in self-defense after Scott grabbed Slager's stun gun.

During testimony in May 2016, Wilson criticized the study for not including all of the cases she's tried, including those involving white defendants.

According to the motion, in January 2017, Wilson produced a list of cases, but did not include Slager's case. Dickerson's lawyers want Slager's juror selection included in the study and say they need the list to identify the race of the jurors.

His attorneys say if a judge allows them access to the list, Dickerson would agree to a protective order to ensure that identity and personal identifying information of the jurors will be used only for the purposes outlined in the motion.

Dickerson unsuccessfully appealed conviction in 2011

Investigators said Dickerson kidnapped Roper and brought him to a James Island apartment. There, investigators said Dickerson pulled out two of Roper's teeth, sodomized him with a gun and broom handle and then strangled him.

During Dickerson's trial, Wilson told jurors Dickerson was enraged by a videotape that allegedly showed his girlfriend having sex with Roper. The tape had not been found. Wilson said Roper had no idea what was about to happen to him.

"He didn't know that he was walking into 18 hours of hell. It took 18 hours to kill him, over 200 lacerations," she told the jury during opening arguments.

Dickerson's defense attorney told jurors Dickerson was being made a scapegoat for the murder by three other people who were in the apartment at the time.

Dickerson was sentenced to death in May 2009.

The three people the defense attorney referred to were also charged in the case. Two of them are charged with murder and the third is charged with obstruction of justice.

Dickerson appealed his sentence on grounds of juror qualification, error in failing to permit cross-examination of blood analysis of the victim, failure to charge accessory after the fact and failure to allow evidence from the defendant's family on how the potential execution would have on them. But the South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the sentence in 2011.

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