CA Law Authorizes Biased Jurors

A California law which took effect in January prohibits prosecutors from removing people who are biased against police officers from juries in criminal trials.  The California jury selection process in criminal cases allows the prosecutor and the defense attorney 10 peremptory challenges for most felony trials, and 20 each for capital cases.  Prior law allowed these challenges to be exercised for any reason other than solely on the potential juror’s race, which is unconstitutional.  AB 3070 Weber (D Los Angeles) signed into law by Governor Newsom in September of 2020, prohibits the use of a peremptory challenge to remove a juror who considers police and/or the criminal justice system racist.  The law also supports objections by defense attorneys if the prosecutor challenges potential jurors who are inattentive, incoherent or threatening.  In a courtroom with a impartial judge who allows a challenge to a gang member who admits that he hates cops, the removal of the gang member from the jury will now become grounds for appeal.  The law does not prevent defense attorneys from removing potential jurors who express support for law enforcement or have friends or relatives who are police officers, prosecutors or judges, or who have been victims of crime.  Essentially Governor Newsom has approved a law that eliminates the constitutional right of an impartial jury.  The bill’s author, Shirley Weber, was appointed in 2020 by Governor Newsom to serve as Secretary of State.  She is the person in charge of California elections.

The post CA Law Authorizes Biased Jurors appeared first on Crime & Consequences.