Democrat Charles R. Garnati, the state’s attorney in a rural southern Illinois county, is currently under investigation over some vile, racist remarks he made to an all-white jury during a 2011 murder trial.
The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) has charged the Williamson County Democrat with violating four state ethics rules. The state bar also says Garnati “tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or legal profession into disrepute,” reports the ABA Journal.
The defendant in the 2011 trial is Marcus Marshall, who is black. He was charged with fatally shooting LaQuinn Hudson at a 2010 party in Marion, the Williamson County seat.
Garnati, who is white, prosecuted the case against Marshall.
“Now in our white world, ladies and gentlemen…,” the Democratic state’s attorney explained to the jury at one point during the murder trial when he was discussing why two witnesses had recanted statements, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Democrat also claimed that carrying guns in waistbands is a thing that black people just normally do.
The all-white jury convicted Marshall at the conclusion of the trial. The judge sentenced him to 85 years in prison.
An Illinois appeals court overturned Marshall’s conviction. Garnati had also agreed to give Marshall a new trial.
Steve Greenberg, a Chicago-based attorney who represented Marshall on appeal, complained to the ARDC about the Democratic state’s attorney’s racist remarks.
“I think anyone who espouses those racist views is unfit to be the state’s attorney of a county,” Greenberg told the Tribune. “Imagine how many charging decisions over the years were racially motivated.”
The state bar made the Nov. 6 ethics complaint against the Democrat public on Wednesday.
Curiously, both the Chicago Tribune and the ABA Journal fail to mention the racist prosecutor’s political affiliation with the Democratic Party.
The Southern Illinoisan, a paper publishing out of the next county over, did manage to note Garnati’s allegiance to the Democratic party in a glowing 2012 piece about his eighth term in office.
Garnati has served as the Williamson County state’s attorney since 1984. He is currently the longest-serving district attorney in the state. He has won 32 murder convictions.
In December 2012, Garnati told The Southern Illinoisan that the county had five murder cases pending. It’s not clear how many of those cases involve black defendants or if the Democrat planned to utilize his pet racist theories about “our white world.”
“I certainly wouldn’t rule out running again in four years,” Garnati added.
The Tribune was unable to reach the racist Democrat concerning his racist statements.