The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit concluded both the Rhode Island Supreme Court and a federal court judge erred in finding a prosecutor’s reasoning for striking the only prospective African American juror was “race-neutral.”

Rather, the prosecutor’s explanation for striking the potential juror from the panel was “not race-neutral on its face,” and, thus, violated the Batson v. Kentucky rule—in which a defendant may challenge a prosecutor’s peremptory strike of a potential juror as racially discriminatory, the First Circuit held on Tuesday.

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