Finding that a state court judge went through a “perfunctory exercise” in weighing a Batson challenge, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a man sentenced to a minimum of 11 years in prison for manslaughter.

The unanimous panel faulted the New York State judge, Supreme Court Justice Alvin Schlesinger, now retired, with putting a premium on haste to the detriment of the inquiry required under the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), to determine whether a lawyer is exercising peremptory challenges in a racially discriminatory manner.

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