People v. Shaw, 2016 IL App (4th) 150444 (April). Episode 174 (Duration 4:14)
Trial court properly accepted race neutral reasons for excluding minority jury members.
Defendant is African American and was on trial for drug charges. The prosecution excluded two African Americans from the jury.
The State said that “when the question came up could you find the defendant guilty, there was a juror that there was a long pause, there was a look, the Court actually had to repeat the question and that’s in the transcript.”
In regards, to the second African American the state recalled that it had initially sought to remove her for cause because she was friends with defendant’s cousins and nieces.
In addition, the State noted her boyfriend had pending cases and was represented by the public defender’s office.
Any Race Neutral Reason
The trial court found that defendant has not shown purposeful discrimination. The Court finds that the prosecutor was credible and that the prosecutor’s demeanor did not show discriminatory intent, but merely showed strategic decisions.
Furthermore, the Court finds that the two juror’s demeanor can be credibly said to have exhibited the basis for the strike attributable to the jury by the prosecutor.