The NAACP issued the following statement regarding the trial of Kharon Davis in Dothan, Alabama.
The inappropriateness of the Dothan criminal justice system in all aspects of its treatment of Kharon Davis is unacceptable. For the last ten years, Kharon has been denied his Sixth Amendment rights to a public, fair, and speedy trial. Now, the poisonous drink of injustice is seeping into his long-deferred opportunity to face a jury of his peers.
After waiting over a decade for a hearing, he must now face the additional challenges of a nearly all-white jury and allegations of inappropriate conversations among jurors. The right to be tried by an impartial jury of one’s peers is fundamental to our justice system; this right is already in jeopardy at the outset of Kharon’s overdue trial.
The NAACP is concerned and committed to keeping the nation’s eye on Dothan’s treatment of Kharon. Kharon has maintained his innocence since his arrest on June 9, 2007 on robbery and capital murder charges. During his prolonged pretrial detention, Kharon has described prior inhumane treatment, including several years of solitary confinement, denial of visits by family and friends, and mental torture.
The NAACP became involved in the case several years ago due to the obvious violation of Kharon’s Sixth Amendment rights. The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial without unnecessary delay, a lawyer, an impartial jury, and to know who your accusers are and the nature of the charges and evidence against you. Dothan cannot continue to disregard these basic rights with impunity.
The NAACP and the NAACP’s Alabama State Conference and Dothan Branch will continue to monitor the trial to ensure transparency, visibility and justice.