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Showing posts from August, 2008

California Supreme Court Expands Measures to Eliminate Jury Bias

On July 24, 2008, the California Supreme Court committed to a position it has resisted for nearly twenty years by holding that evidence supporting the need for a comparative jury analysis must be considered on appeal if relied upon by the defendant, even if the issue was not raised at the trial level. A comparative jury analysis examines the prosecutor’s questions to potential jurors to determine whether the prosecutor eliminated certain jurors based on racial motivations or because of a membership to a particular group.
People v. Lenix, S148029, 2008 WL 2834291 (Cal. July 24, 2008) involved the prosecution of Arthur Lenix, an African-American man. During jury selection, the prosecution made five peremptory challenges, with the fifth challenge eliminating the last remaining black potential juror. Defense counsel challenged the decision, claiming that the strike was based on race. On appeal, the defense sought to compare the answers of potential white jurors who were se…