Ruling: Judges have leeway on remedy for juror exclusions

July 12, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court says trial judges have leeway in deciding what remedy to use when prosecutors exclude potential jurors of the same race as a defendant.

The court’s unanimous decision Wednesday says whether to declare a mistrial and start jury selection anew or to just seat the wrongfully excluded jurors depends on circumstances, including whether the affected potential jurors knew that prosecutors improperly used race-based peremptory challenges to exclude them.

The decision largely upholds two lower courts’ rulings and upholds the conviction and sentence of a Pinal County drug defendant.

Francisco Miguel Urrea wanted jury selection in his trial to start over because the prosecution used peremptory challenges to target potential jurors with Hispanic backgrounds.

The judge trial instead restored three jurors who were challenged by the prosecution.

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