A divided California Supreme Court on Monday upheld the death penalty conviction of an Alameda County carpet cleaner accused of killing a customer in 1996, rejecting arguments that the prosecution improperly excluded Black women from the jury.

A 5-2 majority held that the district attorney’s stated reasons for using peremptory challenges to dismiss five Black women—largely to craft a jury more inclined to impose the death penalty—were “inherently plausible” and supported by their responses to questionnaires and voir dire.