Hooper v. Ryan

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Peremptory Challenge
Case Number: 
No. 12-1980
Decision Date: 
September 9, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Vacated and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in denying without evidentiary hearing, defendant’s habeas petition, alleging that prosecution violated Batson, 476 US 79, when it struck all five remaining African-Americans from jury venire, thereby producing all-white jury. Defendant’s statistical evidence was sufficient to establish prima facie case of race discrimination that entitled him to evidentiary hearing to explore prosecutor’s use of challenges in original trial that occurred approximately 32 years ago. Ct. further found that Ill. Supreme Ct. erred in finding that: (1) mere statistics that demonstrated existence of all-white jury might be insufficient to establish prima facie case of discrimination; (2) fact that prosecution used six challenges on white/Asian jurors meant that defendant’s race played no role in challenges used against African-American jurors; (3) any inference of discrimination was undermined by fact that defendant, three victims and all principal witnesses were African-Americans; and (4) prosecutor’s stated reasons for 4 of 5 challenges were sufficient to defeat any prima facie case of discrimination.