Seven years after his conviction, Tharpe’s lawyers interviewed juror Barney Gattie.
“After studying the Bible, I have wondered if black people even have souls, ” said Gattie, according to an affidavit he signed years after the trial.
The murder victim, who was Tharpe’s sister-in-law, came from a family of “nice black folks, ” Gattie said. “If they had been the type Tharpe is, then picking between life and death for Tharpe wouldn’t have mattered so much. My feeling is, what would be the difference?”
Gattie, who is now deceased, also used a racial slur referring to Tharpe, the affidavit said.