Golden Gate University Law Review


Andje Morovich


In Kesser v. Cambra, the en banc Ninth Circuit panel held that a California State Prosecutor's justifications for peremptory challenges during jury voir dire were pretexts for purposeful discrimination. The Ninth Circuit concluded that the California Court of Appeal failed to apply the proper Supreme Court test under Batson v. Kentucky to determine whether the prosecutor's nonracial motives were pretextual. Applying a "comparative juror analysis" (comparing the characteristics of a stricken juror with an impaneled juror), the Ninth Circuit majority held that the California Court of Appeal improperly relied solely on the prosecutor's own self-serving testimony as to his race-neutral reasons. By contrast, the concurring and dissenting opinions argued that a pure "comparative juror analysis" was not prescribed by Supreme Court precedent and offered alternative approaches.

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