ALBANY – Excluding a juror based on skin tone, like race, is prohibited under the New York Constitution, the state’s highest court has ruled in a case hailed by civil rights groups and affinity bar associations as an important decision.
The Court of Appeals decided unanimously that the way the jury was selected for a robbery trial in Queens Supreme Court violated the protections preventing the exclusion of jurors solely based on their race, color, creed or religion, as declared by the U.S. Supreme Court in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 US 79 (1986).
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