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Hey Doug and bill, lawyers' opinion sought (oh geeesh!)....(2 posts)

Hey Doug and bill, lawyers' opinion sought (oh geeesh!)....eyebob
Feb 28, 2003 8:58 AM
Any thoughts on this article? Particularly, I'm looking for the legal explaination of how peremtory stikes work, how many are allowed (per case?), etc...

Take the article with a bit of a grain of salt, Derrick Jackson is a black, left-leaning columnist so his tilt may exaggerate the facts but I'm sure that his representation of where Thomas stands on these issues isn't without merit. I love the fact that he was the lone dissenter.

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/059/oped/Thomas_s_cruel_view_of_prisoners+.shtml
not much helpDougSloan
Feb 28, 2003 9:27 AM
Peremptory stikes or "challenges" is the right of each side to name certain potential jurors to be taken off the panel. The number and procedure for doing this varies by jurisdiction.

You can get rid of potential jurors two main ways. First, you move to strike them for cause. Say they admit to some bias, have a medical problem, something like that. After you finish with the "for cause" potential jurors, then you can take your peremptories. You used to have an absolute right to strike anyone you want. Then, the law changed, so that you cannot strike solely because of membership in a protected class, like race, sex, ethnicity. They don't want lawyers biasing the jury panel by selecting out certain groups.

It's generally hard to prove, unless you have a pattern for doing it. For example, on one panel of 30 potential jurors, you might have 2 blacks. If you struck both of them, it probably doesn't mean much. However, if over 10 cases you have 20% blacks, but none make it to the actual juries, then you have a problem.

Nonetheless, I can't stand inflammatory articles like that one. "...defend miserable prosecutions and torturous treatment of prisoners"? Give me a break. That's B.S.

Doug