Foster v. Humphrey

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: May 26, 2015
  • Case #: 14-8349
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Burts Co., GA Supreme Court. December 2013

Whether the Georgia Supreme Court erred in not recognizing racial discrimination in a death penalty claim under the Batson test.

At petitioner's capital murder trial, the state prosecutor struck down all four prospective black jurors, stating 'race neutral" reasons for each strike. The petitioner obtained the prosecutor's notes which indicated the prosecutor marked or otherwise highlighted the four jurors by listing or identifying the four by their race, with a strike list consisting of race issues. This contradicts the "race neutral" explanation by the prosecution. Petitioner argues under the third step analysis of Batson v. Kentucky that under all relevant circumstances, the state's facially race neutral explanation must be believed if found to be as such. The state supreme court rejected Petitioner's claim under Batson, concluding that Batson did not apply in this case and that the evidence against the state wasn't sufficient to constitute a challenge.

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