In 2002, Off Center Media produced an advocacy video about Thomas Miller-El for the Texas Defender Service.
Miller-El was within six days of execution in February 2002, when the Supreme Court intervened and gave him a stay of execution. The high court later ordered the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to re-examine Miller-El’s claims that Black people were unfairly struck from his jury.
The 5th Circuit upheld the original Texas court ruling. That led the Supreme Court to review Miller-El’s case for a second time. In a six-to-three decision on June 13, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court sharply rebuked Texas prosecutors as well as Texas appeals courts, ruling that their excuses for racism in jury selection are unconstitutional.
The conviction of Thomas Miller-El, an African American man sentenced to death in Dallas in 1986, was thrown out. After spending over 19 years on death row he was granted a new trial. Mr. Miller-El pled guilty in exchange for a sentence of life imprisonment.