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Johnson v. California

Docket No.: 03-6539
Argued: March 30, 2004
Decided: May 3, 2004

Topics:

28 U.S.C. 1257, Judicial Power, Equal Protection Clause, Federal Tort Claims, Miranda, Title VII, Torture Victim Protection Act, harmless error, jury selection, murder, privacy, probable cause, racial discrimination, search and seizure, separation of powers

PartyNames: Jay Shawn Johnson v. California
Petitioner: Jay Shawn Johnson
Respondent: California

Court Below: Supreme Court of California
Citation: California Supreme Court, 71 P.3d 270 QUESTIONS PRESENTED: (1) Did the California Supreme Court violate the rule of Batson v. Kentucky ,476 U.S. 79 (1986) and the equal protection clause when it declared that the threshold for a prima facie case of racial discrimination in jury selection isproof that it is "more likely than not" that discrimination occurred, which test presents a much higher and more difficult threshold to reach than the standard established by this Court in Batson, namely, that a prima facie case is shown when there is an "inference" of discrimination?(2) In a criminal case where the prosec utor peremptorily challenged all three
Supreme Court Docket

Jay Shawn Johnson
v.
California
541 U.S. 428 (2004)
Consideration Limited:

Limited to the following question: Whether to establish a prima facie case under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 1986), the objector must show that it is more likely than not the other party's peremptory challenges, if unexplained, were based on impermissible group bias?

Question Presented:

: (1) Did the California Supreme Court violate the rule of Batson v. Kentucky ,476 U.S. 79 (1986) and the equal protection clause when it declared that the threshold for a prima facie case of racial discrimination in jury selection isproof that it is "more likely than not" that discrimination occurred, which test presents a much higher and more difficult threshold to reach than the standard established by this Court in Batson, namely, that a prima facie case is shown when there is an "inference" of discrimination? (2) In a criminal case where the prosec utor peremptorily challenged all three black prospective jurors, leaving Petitioner, a black man, to be tried by a jury with no black jurors, did the California Supreme Court violate Batson when itheld that the challenges to all three black jurors, did not present even an inference of racial discrimination, which is necessary to establish a primafacie case? (3) Did the California Supreme Court violate the Constitution when it refused to apply comparative juror analysis -- namely, comparing answers given on voir dire by minority jurors who we re challenged with the answers given to the same questions by white jurors who were accepted -- in determiningwhether the claimed reasons for challenging the minority jurors were pretextual? (4) Is not this Court's recent opinion in Miller-El v. Cockrell , 537 U.S. 322, 154 L.Ed.2d 931, 123 S.Ct. 1029 (2003), which expressly approves comparative juror analysis, retroactiv ely applicable to a case on direct appeal, pursuant to Griffith v. Kentucky , 479 U.S. 314, 93 L.Ed.2d 649(1987), or, instead, is the state court free to ignore Miller-El, and to refuse to apply comparative juror analysis, and to refuse to determine if claimed reasons for challenges to minority jurors are pretextual? CERT. GRANTED: 12/1/03Limited to the following question: Whether to establish a prima facie case under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 1986), the objector must show that it is more likely than not the other party's peremptory challenges, if unexplained, were based on impermissible group bias?

Question:

In order to establish a prima facie case under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), must the objector show that it is more likely than not that the other party's peremptory challenges were based on impermissible group bias?

Note:

. California Supreme Court, 71 P.3d 270

Johnson v. California
ORAL ARGUMENT

March 30, 2004

Holding: certiorari dismissed for want of jurisdiction
Decision: Decision: 9 votes for California, 0 vote(s) against
Vote: 9-0
Opinion By: Per Curiam

Johnson v. California
Case Documents

1Slip Opinion in Johnson v. California
2Opinion in Johnson v. California
Additional documents for this case are pending review.