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Batson V Kentucky
Batson was found guilty of second degree burgurly and receipt of stolen goods. During jury selection the prosecutor on the case decided to use his Peremptory Strikes to remove all four black jurors which left a jury of all white persons. The defense moved to srike the jury before the court swore them in on the basis that the Pprosecutors removal of the black jurors violated the petitioners Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Counsel requested a hearing on the motion and was denied by the Judge who reasoned that the cross-section requirement only applied to the selecting of the venire not the Petit Jury. The case was heard and the defendant was found guilty on both counts.
The findings of the Supreme Court were that the Petitioner was discriminated against. He was denied equal protection through the states Peremptory Challenges. The Supreme Court decided that Batson was discriminated against and that the Constitution of the United States forbids all forms of purposeful racial discrimination in the selection of not only the Venire but also the Petit jury. Since the Fourteenth Amendment protects the defendant throughout the court proceedings up to bringing him to trial, the State should not use neutral means in drawing a jury list and then turn to discrimination in the selection process.
The State Prosecutor can use the peremptory challenges any way he or she wishes as long as it does not conflict the Equal protection Clause protects the individuals or races that could be discriminated against during a jury selection.
In Strauder V W. Virginia it was decided that the defendant does not have the right to a petit jury composed completely or partially of ones own race. The defendant does however have the right to be tried by a jury composed of members who are selected considering a non-disrinatory criteria.
The selection of a jury that excludes one minority undermines the public belief that we have e a system which does not place judgment due to the color of ones skin. A black defe3ndant could make a Prima facie case of purposeful discrimination on the peremptory challenges system was being used to achieve racism. Once the defendant makes the requisite, the burden of proof would fall upon the statue to explain why they excluded a certain race from the jury. The Prosecutor must also show permissible racial neutral selection and why the ended up with a monochromatic result.
The state argued that the challenges are a part of the judicial system and that it is an important part of the procedure. Long ago, the court recognized that the right to challenge is essential to the purpose of securing the most impartial and fair jury for a trial.
I think that something should be done with the challenging system in place today to insure that minorities do not get discriminate against due to the color of their skin and the stereotyping they may face with an all white jury. It would not be fair or just to be treated differtly in the judicial system due to your race. I do not think the challenge needs to be erased but I do feel it needs to be revised. I agree with the Supreme Court decision because the defendant was truly discriminated against when he was not given a jury of his peers. The constitution states that all men are created equal therefore we should all be treated fairly and respectfully regardless of our race.
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Legal procedure, Juries, Batson v. Kentucky, Jefferson County, Kentucky, All-white jury, Peremptory challenge, United States constitutional criminal procedure, Miller-El v. Dretke
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