[JURIST] In a 6-3 decision Monday the US Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a black inmate on death row who claimed that Texas prosecutors purposely eliminated black jurors to fill the jury with whites. Justice Souter, writing for the majority, rejected the state's claim that the strikes were not intended to discriminate against the jurors. Read the Court's opinion [PDF text] in Miller-El v. Dretke [Duke law backgrounder]. AP has more.
In a related ruling Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a California Supreme Court requirement that a racially discriminatory bias can be found only if it is more likely than not that the striking of a juror can be explained exclusively by racial factors. Read the Court's opinion [PDF text] in Johnson v. California [Duke Law backgrounder].