In what’s being described as a “watershed” decision, the California Supreme Court has overturned three convictions after finding a prosecutor had intentionally excluded Latinx candidates from the jury.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the unanimous decision “appeared intended to send a clear signal to prosecutors, defense lawyers and the lower courts that charges of racially motivated juror exclusions must be taken seriously.”
From Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar’s decision:
“It is not only litigants who are harmed when the right to trial by impartial jury is abridged,” Cuellar wrote Thursday. “Taints of discriminatory bias in jury selection — actual or perceived — erode confidence in the adjudicative process, undermining the public’s trust in courts.”
Two of the convictions that were overturned were for attempted murder.