Recently, an Arizona court issued an opinion in an aggravated assault case following the defendant’s challenge of the jury selection. The defendant raised a challenge alleging that the opposing party excluded certain individuals because of their race. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision in denying the defendant’s challenge.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, parties of an upcoming trial were selecting individuals to serve on the jury. The defendant challenged the jury selection, requesting that the prosecutor explain why they chose to remove the only two Black individuals from serving on the jury. The prosecutor explained that they struck one individual from serving on the jury because that individual’s brother was convicted of a crime, which they worried could impact the individual’s ability to judge fairly. The second person was removed from the jury selection pool because that individual was previously involved in a criminal case. The trial court found that these were reasonable and race-neutral justifications and thus that the challenge raised by the defendant should be denied.