A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that prosecutor-turned-judge Kevin Ryan had legitimate reasons for booting two African-Americans from the jury pool of a black man accused of murder.

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said that in 1994 San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ryan, then a prosecutor in Alameda County, did not discriminate against defendant Roderick Stubbs by using two peremptory challenges to eliminate the two potential jurors. The unanimous panel upheld the ruling by U.S. District Judge Fern Smith that denied Stubbs’ habeas corpus petition.

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