COPY-Prosecutor's race comments during trial at issue - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

COPY-Prosecutor's race comments during trial at issue

MARION, Ill. (AP) - An attorney contends a black man serving an 85-year sentence after being convicted of murder deserves a new trial because of the racial remarks a southern Illinois prosecutor made while summarizing the case for jurors.

Chicago attorney Steve Greenberg says Williamson County State's Attorney Charles Garnati's closing argument injected racially charged language into Marcus Marshall's trial, which was decided by an all-white jury a year ago. His concerns were first reported in Wednesday's Chicago Tribune.

Arguing the case in mostly white Marion, Garnati made a reference to "our white world." The seven-term prosecutor also said blacks keep their handguns in their waistbands with something covering it.

Greenberg says he's notified an appellate court that he plans to challenge the conviction.

Garnati hasn't returned a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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