Friday, December 6, 2013

People v. Currie case brief

People v. Currie case brief summary
87 Cal. App. 4Th 225 (2001)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County, convicting him of second degree murder, attempted robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

CASE FACTS
Defendant appealed his conviction of second degree murder, attempted robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Defendant contended that the trial court erred in denying his motion to quash the master jury list and jury venire, as he was denied his constitutional right to trial by an impartial jury drawn from a representative cross-section of the community.

DISCUSSION
  • The appellate court affirmed. In order to establish a prima facie violation of the constitutional fair-cross-section requirement, defendant had to show, inter alia, that the underrepresentation from jury venires of a "distinctive" group in the community was due to systematic exclusion of the group in the jury selection process. 
  • Defendant had failed to make such a showing, such that he had failed to establish the requisite prima facie case. 
  • The statistical underrepresentation of African-Americans in jury venires in the relevant county resulted from race-neutral practices on the part of the county, such that it did not amount to systematic exclusion necessary to support a representative cross-section claim.
CONCLUSION
Defendant's conviction was affirmed. The statistical underrepresentation of African-Americans in jury venires in the relevant county resulted from race-neutral practices on the part of the county, such that it did not support a constitutional fair-cross-section requirement claim.


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