Former Attorney For Death Row Inmate Says Original Trial Was Flawed

Sep 27, 2021

A former attorney for a man sitting on Oklahoma’s death row says his original trial wasn’t fair.

Amy McTeer represented John Marion Grant who is scheduled for execution Oct. 28. McTeer said there were no other Black men on Grant’s Osage County jury, and the court treated him with unnecessary roughness.

“They wanted to present a monster image to the jury, I think, and he was a Black man who needed to be a monster. I tried to articulate this but it was almost too late. The jury had already seen him being treated like a monster,” said McTeer.

Grant’s current attorney, public defender Sarah Jernigan, said Grant was escorted arm in arm with Department of Corrections staff at his trial in 1999. The defense argued this was akin to being in handcuffs. The judge ruled it wasn’t, but told DOC staff to give Grant more freedom of movement.

McTeer also said her communication with the other attorney on the case was complicated since they married about a year before the trial, then got divorced right before it started.

“Just the simple act of a divorce alone shows you the communication level may not have been up to par,” said McTeer.

McTeer has struggled with addiction issues herself and no longer practices law. She signed an affidavit admitting to using drugs during Grant’s trial.

McTeer said she’s now been clean and sober for years and is doing well.

Grant was convicted of murdering 58-year-old Gay Carter. She was an employee at the prison where he was serving time for armed robbery.