A potential juror in a death penalty case cannot be stricken solely because she expressed opposition to capital punishment, but instead must be asked “follow-up questions” about her “willingness and ability to follow the law,” the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

In its 25-page unpublished opinion in Stevens v. Horn, a unanimous three-judge panel concluded that Andre Stevens “was denied his constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury” because a Beaver County judge had removed a juror “on the sole basis of her statement that she opposed capital punishment.”

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