Man freed from death row blames conviction on racial bias

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2017 12:10 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A man freed from Louisiana's death row says his case was corrupted by a biased autopsy and a prosecutor's racism and religious fervor.

Rodricus Crawford sued the Caddo Parish coroner and district attorney's offices last Thursday, one year after the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned his first-degree murder conviction in the death of his 1-year-old son.

Crawford's federal lawsuit says authorities recklessly disregarded medical evidence that his son had pneumonia and died of natural causes. Investigators accused Crawford of smothering the child.

The suit also says Crawford was deprived of a fair trial by a prosecutor with a "racist world view" who followed a "biblical command" to secure the death penalty against black defendants.

A spokesman for both the coroner and district attorney's offices said he couldn't comment on pending litigation.