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This case is about the constitutional protections of an impartial jury recognized by the Bill of Rights, against the backdrop of the role of race in criminal justice. The process of jury selection in the United States has historically included the ability of opposing attorneys to remove a certain number of prospective jurors. The practice has often resulted in the exclusion of minorities, which the Court has recognized to be unconstitutional. The problem is identifying and enforcing a standard for the constitutional limits of the selection process in order to allow legitimate challenges to individual jurors but not racist exclusions of an entire group. Flowers reinforces a limit on the illegitimate consideration of race and clarifies the standard for a legal challenge to unconstitutional jury selection.
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Flowers decision, page 2.
See Nancy Jean King, “American Criminal Jury,” 62 Law and Contemporary Problems 41–68 (1999).
Ibid., page 42.
US Constitution Amendment VI.
See, Nancy Marder, “Juror Bias, Voir Dire, and the Judge-Jury Relationship,” 90 Chicago- Kent Law Review 927–956 (2015), page 931.
Flowers decision, page 8.
Ibid., page 9.
Ibid., page 11.
Swain v. Alabama, 380 U.S. 202 (1965) at 223.
Batson v. Kentucky, 376 U.S. 79 (1986).
For an extensive case history, see the Flowers decision, pages 3–7.
Ibid., page 18.
Ibid., pages 15–16
Ibid., page 21.
Ibid., page 25.
Ibid., page 3.
Ibid., pages 30–31.
Justice Thomas dissent, page 5.
Ibid., page 10.
Ibid., page 33.
Ibid., page 42.
Flowers decision, page 3.
See David Leonhardt, “Clarence Thomas vs. the Evidence,” The New York Times, 3 July 2019. See also Episode 14 of the “In the Dark” podcast.
Flowers decision, page 15.
- Flowers v. Mississippi on Race in Jury Selection
- Springer International Publishing
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