Ninth Circuit Grants Habeas on Botched Batson Challenge
A California trial judge held that robbery defendant Williams made no prima facie case of discrimination when he challenged a prosecutor's peremptory strike of 3 of 4 African-American jurors. The Ninth Circuit disagreed, yesterday, granting habeas relief. The Court held that racial statistical disparity among strikes used gives rise to a sufficient inference of discrimination for a prima facie Batson showing. The ruling can be accessed here.