Juror and sexual orientation

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By Arielle P. A Federal Court decided this week that sexual orientation cannot be a basis for discrimination during jury selection, a process known as voir dire. During voir direattorneys are permitted to make peremptory challenges—the right to exclude a juror without a reason for the exclusion—as long as the attorney presents a neutral explanation for challenging the juror.

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SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court became the first in the nation to rule that prospective jurors may not be excluded because of their sexual orientation, a decision that expands juror protections beyond race and gender and provides legal ammunition to challenge laws that limit gay rights. The sweeping, unanimous decision Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U. The 9th Circuit said the case would have to be retried because an obviously gay juror was unjustifiably excluded from the jury.

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Washington CNN The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up the case of a death row inmate, Charles Rhines, who sought to challenge his sentence based on juror statements that indicated discrimination based on Rhines' homosexuality. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos

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In addition, federal law prohibits discrimination in service on a federal jury based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and economic status. However, neither the Supreme Court nor federal law explicitly prohibit discrimination in jury service based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Such discriminatory treatment undermines the justice system and could hurt crime victims by preventing a fair trial by a jury of their peers.

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Associated Press Associated Press. The justices did not comment on Monday in leaving in place the death sentence for Charles Rhines. Rhines was convicted in the stabbing death of a doughnut shop employee in Rapid City, South Dakota, in

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When I started work as an associate in an insurance defense law firm in Atlanta, the rule passed down from the senior partner was to strike from juries all ethnic minorities — black, Hispanic, Jewish, etc. In those days, we did not need any reasons to exercise peremptory strikes of jurors. With rare exception, I did as the guys approving my paychecks dictated, whether or not I believed their bias was justified. No excuses.

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Berthiaume v. LGBT people have suffered a long history of discrimination based on animus and invidious stereotypes. The case involved a police response to an altercation between two gay men, who formerly had been partners, during their attendance at Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida.

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Published in Law and human behavior Tisha R. WileyBette L.

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