CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Demeanor-Based Dismissal of Jurors

The Court's summary reversal in Thaler v. Haynes is here, involving the special standards applicable in this habeas case. From the opening paragraph of the opinion:

This case presents the question whether any decision of this Court “clearly establishes” that a judge, in ruling on an objection to a peremptory challenge under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U. S. 79 (1986), must reject a demeanor based explanation for the challenge unless the judge personally observed and recalls the aspect of the prospective juror’s demeanor on which the explanation is based. The Court of Appeals appears to have concluded that either Batson itself or Snyder v. Louisiana, 552 U. S. 472 (2008), clearly established such a rule, but the Court of Appeals read far too much into those decisions, and its holding, if allowed to stand, would have important implications. We therefore grant the petition for certiorari, grant respondent’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis, and reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2010/02/demeanorbased-dismissal-of-jurors.html

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