The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has found that a death row defendant does not deserve a new trial on the alleged grounds that the prosecutor made peremptory challenges to jurors based on race, despite the fact that the prosecutor was videotaped a year before the trial giving advice to fellow prosecutors on how to get away with such illegal peremptory challenges.

The four-member majority in Commonwealth v. Cook, including Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and Justices J. Michael Eakin, Seamus P. McCaffery and Debra Todd, found in its July 24 opinion that Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Carolyn E. Temin correctly determined that defendant Robin Cook didn’t meet his burden to prove that Assistant District Attorney Jack McMahon had exercised his peremptory challenges during Cook’s 1988 trial in a discriminatory manner.

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