Racial bias is everywhere, and countless individuals are not given a speedy and impartial trial by their peers. When jury is selected for trial by the prosecution and defense, there must be a concerted effort to exclude any racial prejudices. This does not always happen, however. For instance, if the defendant is black and the jury is selected to be only made up of whites, and it can be proven that potential jury members were excluded because they were not white, the defendant may have sufficient evidence to show that their trial was flawed. First, three steps must take place in order for this to happen, according to the Illinois Criminal Law Digest.
Proving Racist Intent Behind State’s Peremptory Challenges
Illinois Appellate Court Finds Defendant Correct in Claims of Race-Based Peremptory Challenges
Recently, such a trial was found to be racially biased. The appellate court ruled in favor of the defendant and found that the State used 80 percent of its peremptory challenges against African Americans and only 8.3 percent of the jury as African American. The flaws in the jury selection and trial court’s decision were as follows: the defendant showed that the State accepted three white jurors with similar characteristics of the African American jurors who were dismissed. The State challenged the defendant’s reasons for claiming that the peremptory challenges were racially biased but the trial court did not conduct the necessary third-stage evaluation of the State’s reasoning.
Contact a Chicago Criminal Appeals Attorney Today
Sadly, all around the country, including Chicago, it is common for the prosecution to weight the jury against the defendant with racist intent. This is one of the many reasons that there is a disproportionate number of people of color in prison. Statistically, all-white or heavily white juries will come down harder on black or hispanic defendants than juries that include members of the defendant’s race. If your trial was flawed because of a peremptory challenge based on race, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago appeals attorneys of Barney and Hourihane as soon as possible at 312-854-0906 today.