When Is It Constitutional to Purge Black Jurors?

The article discusses several cases in history when African American were removed the juror’s list.

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“I don’t think it was unfair,” James K. Batson told the Louisville Courier-Journal in 2005. “It was unfair.”

Batson was remembering his 1982 state-court trial for burglary and receiving stolen property. The prosecution used “peremptory strikes” to remove four names from the list of possible jurors. These were the only four who, like Batson, were African American. The resulting all-white jury convicted Batson; he received a 20-year sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court, in 1986, decided that Batson deserved a new trial—and proclaimed a new rule of criminal procedure designed to prevent parties in a trial from using race-based “strikes” (or “peremptory challenges”) in jury selection. Read more...