Swain v. Alabama
|Swain v. Alabama|
|Argued December 8, 1964
Decided March 8, 1965
|Full case name||Robert Swain v. Alabama|
|Citations||380 U.S. 202 (more)|
|The overall percentage disparity has been small and reflects no studied attempt to include or exclude a specified number of blacks.|
|Dissent||Goldberg, joined by Warren, Douglas|
|Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986)|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
Swain, a black man, was indicted and convicted of rape in the Circuit Court of Talladega County, Alabama, and sentenced to death. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that there were no black jurors. Of eligible jurors in the county, 26% were black, but panels since 1953 averaged 10% to 15% black jurors.
Opinion of the Court
The Supreme Court denied the appeal, because 8 of 100 empaneled jurors were black, but all were "struck" by peremptory challenges by the prosecution. The ruling for the majority stated, "The overall percentage disparity has been small and reflects no studied attempt to include or exclude a specified number of Negros."
This case recognized the peremptory challenge as a valid legal practice so long as it was not used intentionally to exclude blacks from jury duties. The precedent set in this case was overturned in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).
- Sommers, Samuel R.; Norton, Michael I. (2007). "Race-Based Judgments, Race-Neutral Justifications: Experimental Examination of Peremptory Use and the Batson Challenge Procedure". Law and Human Behavior. 31 (3): 261–273. doi:10.1007/s10979-006-9048-6. PMID 17123158.
- Swain v. Alabama, 380 U.S. 202 (1965)