Friday, April 13, 2007

D.C. Circuit on Blindness and Batson

Via Howard Bashman, I see that the D.C. Circuit today decided a case involving the application of Batson v. Kentucky (which prohibits race-motivated peremptory challenges to jurors) to peremptory challenges to jurors with disabilities. In its opinion, the D.C. Circuit held that, unlike in the case of race or sex discrimination, peremptory challenges motivated by disability are judged by nothing more than the standard of minimum rationality. And the court held that the prosecution had a rational basis for dismissing a blind juror, as some evidence in the case was visual (even though there was very little visual evidence, and it wasn't especially central to the case).



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