Almost 12 years after the fact, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals shot down a Humboldt County, Calif., prosecutor’s decision to yank three American Indian jurors and one Asian juror from an infamous murder trial, finding all were singled out on the basis of race.
The court, in a narrow 6-5 majority ruling, swept aside a series of earlier decisions in state and federal courts that upheld the jurors’ exclusion in the trial of Richard Kesser. In 1995, Kesser was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for hiring a hit man to kill his ex-wife.
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