Muslim Man’s Conviction Vacated After Attorney’s Racist Posts Are Found

Muslim Man’s Conviction Vacated After Attorney’s Racist Posts Are Found

A Black Muslim man facing sex trafficking charges in Massachusetts has had his conviction vacated after racist posts from his court-appointed attorney were made public.

The Supreme Judicial Court unanimously determined that attorney Richard Doyle held ideas that made it impossible for him to effectively represent the defendant, Anthony Dew.

“Indigent and facing multiple felony charges, the defendant was appointed counsel who openly posted, on his social media account, his vitriolic hatred of and bigotry against persons of the Muslim faith; his unabashed anti-Muslim rants were matched only by his equal scorn for and racism against Black persons,” the court said, according to the Associated Press via NBC News.

Doyle, who has since died, continued his racist attacks for more than four years; including when he had Dew as a client.

“These posts…included a variety of anti-Muslim slurs and statements calling for violence against and celebrating the death of persons of the Muslim faith, posts mocking Black individuals, and comments, some apparently made at a state court house, seemingly referring to Doyle’s clients as ‘thugs’ and suggesting that Doyle’s nonwhite clients were criminals,” the court said.

He also convinced Dew to take a plea deal instead of going to trial to prove his innocence; Dew was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Dew’s appeals lawyer, Edward Gaffney, enlisted the support of the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in order to defend his position to the high court, according to the Associated Press.

“It’s often hard enough for members of marginalized communities to obtain justice in our criminal legal system,” Barbara Dougan, the council’s legal director, said. “Here, the court refused to minimize the level of religious and racial hatred that the defense attorney displayed—indeed, publicly posted for the world to see.”

Dew was indicted in March 2015 on 19 charges, including five counts of trafficking of a person and one count of rape. He plead guilty to all charges, except the rape, and began his sentence in 2016.

After serving six years in prison, Dew was released on parole on Thursday, June 15, 2023.