Monday, December 12, 2005

Eighth Circuit Affirms District Court Rejection of Batson Challenge

The Eighth Circuit in Swope v. Razzaq, 428 F.3d 1152 (8th Cir. Nov. 17, 2005) [/05/11/051273P.pdf] recently affirmed the district court's rejection of a plaintiff's challenge of the defendant's use of peremptory challenges to create an all-white jury in a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff challenged the striking of three African-American jurors under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69 (1986), which prohibits the use of peremptory challenges to engage in purposeful discrimination. Because the defendant proffered non-discriminatory reasons for striking each of the three prospective Black jurors, and the plaintiff failed to identify similarly situated white jurors who were not stricken, the circuit court affirmed the district court's conclusion that the Batson challenge should be rejected.


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