Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Batson v. Kentucky
Lisa M. Carter
This entry discusses the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Batson v. Kentucky (1986) on the use of peremptory challenges during the jury selection process of the American justice system. The case brought attention to the role of race as reason for dismissal from jury participation and highlighted the importance of a defendant's right to trial by an impartial jury. James Batson, an African American man, was convicted of burglary and receiving stolen property in a Kentucky circuit court. Controversy arose from the verdict because it was handed down by an ail-White jury. Attorneys for Batson appealed on the basis that the voir dire (the jury selection process) had been unfair. During voir dire, potential jurors are often selected on the basis of how their attitudes, opinions, and experiences may be related to the case being tried. Depending on these attributes, the prosecution and defense may utilize a ...