CA To Look At Questions Of Racial Discrimination In Jury Selection: Peremptory Strikes, BLM Support And More

KPCC-FM interviewed Jody Armour of the USC Gould School on whether a juror can be struck from a jury pool for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Panel discussion point: In the coming months, a California court of appeals will be examining whether a juror can be struck from a jury pool for supporting Black Lives Matter. One of the issues at hand is whether striking a juror for supporting BLM amounts to racial discrimination. In 1986, the Supreme Court ruled in Batson v. Kentucky that attorneys can engage in peremptory strikes (meaning, they can remove jurors without explaining the reasoning), as long as they’re decisions are not racially motivated. If the opposing attorney thinks discrimination was at play they can mount a “Batson challenge,” and the other attorney will have to explain to the judge why their decision wasn’t based on race. Some have criticized this process, pointing to the fact that reasons such as juror’s demeanor are often used as justification. Is support for BLM a proxy for racial discrimination?