Kansas City, MO – An unusual civil rights murder trial moves into its most crucial phase this week in Kansas City Federal District Court. A jury will hear testimony and see evidence from defense and prosecution. And from that, jurors will decide whether two local men will receive death sentences or life in prison. Last week, Gary Eye and Steven Sandstrom were convicted of four capital crimes. Prosecutors say 44-year-old William McCay was shot on a Northeast side street in March 2005. They say it was a violation of his civil rights to walk on a street - McCay was black, the convicted men are white.
To find out more about recent trends on race and local death penalty cases, KCUR's Dan Verbeck spoke to Kent Gipson of Kansas City's Public Interest Litigation Clinic. Gipson has defended death penalty cases since the 1990s, and specializes in Capital punishment appeals.