Idaho Court Tosses Conviction After Prosecutor Interjects 'Pernicious Racism'

Dec 30, 2014

The Idaho Court of Appeals has vacated a black man's sex crime convictions against two white female teenagers because the prosecutor interjected race in closing arguments by quoting lyrics from the Confederate anthem "Dixie."

All three judges agreed that Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin erred in citing a song praising what the judges called pernicious racism, and that it might have influenced the jury.

In April 2013 James D. Kirk, then 45, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after the jury found him guilty of committing lewd conduct against a 17-year-old girl and sexually battering a 13-year-old girl.

Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker tells the Idaho Statesman the county will retry the case if the Idaho Attorney General doesn't appeal the Dec. 19 appeals court ruling.