People v. Williams, 2015 IL App (1st) 131103 (November 2015). Episode 113 (Duration: 5:21)
No Batson problem when state struck 4 African American males but accepted one African American female.
Party making the challenge has the burden of raising a prima facie case of discrimination. The trial court looks at 7 factors to determine if a prima facia case has been raised.
(1) the racial identity between the party exercising the peremptory challenge and the excluded venirepersons;
(2) a pattern of strikes against African-American venirepersons;
(3) a disproportionate use of peremptory challenges against African-American venirepersons;
(4) the number of African-Americans in the venire as compared to the jury;
(5) the prosecutor’s questions and statements during voir dire examination and while exercising peremptory challenges;
(6) the shared characteristics of the excluded African-American venirepersons compared to the venirepersons accepted by the prosecution; and
(7) the racial make-up of the defendant, victim, and witnesses.
“The mere number of black venire members peremptorily challenged, without more, will not establish a prima facie case of discrimination.”
Also, a pattern of discrimination does not develop “anytime a party strikes more than one juror of any race or gender.” A prima facie showing of discrimination under Batson requires the defendant to demonstrate that relevant circumstances raise an inference that the prosecutor exercised peremptory challenges to remove venirepersons based on their race.
Reviewing court did not feel a sufficient record existed for it to find that defendant raised a prima facie case. The exact race of the final jury is unknown as well as how the state used its strikes during the whole jury selection process. Here, counsel’s unsubstantiated assertion was an insufficient basis for the trial judge to find that a prima facie Batson case had been established.
Once a Batson claim has been made, the trial court should make a record indicating the race or ethnicity or both of each venireperson to facilitate review.