CAL in Action

AD1 reverses CAL client's robbery convictions for Batson violations


At his trial in NY Supreme Court, Mr. H’s defense counsel objected to the prosecutor’s use of peremptory challenges to strike five non-white prospective jurors over the course of three rounds of jury selection, arguing that the prosecutor’s challenges were discriminatory. Rather than ask the prosecutor to give race-neutral reasons for all five strikes, the trial court asked only that the prosecutor explain the last two. The court then found the reasons offered adequate. When the prosecutor later struck a sixth non-white juror, defense counsel objected again, but the court dismissed counsel’s objection. AD1 found that the trial court erred in denying defendants an opportunity to present their full Batson challenge when it improperly limited the inquiry to only two of the challenged prospective jurors. CAL attorney Liz Lagerfeld represented Mr. H on appeal.