Richardson v. Lemke

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Peremptory Challenge
Case Number: 
Nos. 12-1619 & 12-1747 Cons.
Decision Date: 
March 11, 2014
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Affirmed and reversed in part and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in granting portion of defendant’s habeas petition that challenged his murder conviction, where petition alleged that prosecutor’s use of 13 out of 16 challenges to excuse prospective black jurors was based on race, where only three blacks were eventually placed on jury. Record showed that defendant procedurally defaulted said issue by failing to contemporaneously object to govt.’s use of its peremptory challenges, and Ill. Supreme Court’s finding that defendant had waived any peremptory challenge issue constituted independent and adequate state law ground to resolve said issue. Moreover, although Batson decision had not been issued at time of defendant’s trial, said default could not be excused, where defendant could have raised any error with respect to govt.’s use of its peremptory challenges based on existing law. (Dissent filed.)