In an apparent case of first impression, a unanimous state Supreme Court has ruled that a defendant was not prejudiced when the trial court raised a Batson v. Kentucky objection to his peremptory challenge sua sponte.
However, the justices decided not make a general rule that trial courts have a duty to raise such challenges. To do so, the court in Commonwealth v. Carson said, would make trial judge vulnerable to a barrage of litigation from defendants complaining the judges did not meet that duty.
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