Court to Settle Dispute Over All-White Jury

Yahoo! News, September 30, 2009

The Supreme Court will decide whether a man’s murder conviction should have been thrown out because there were too few African Americans in a county’s jury pool in Michigan.

State officials are asking the high court to overturn a decision by the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

That court threw out the murder conviction of Diapolis Smith for shooting a man in Grand Rapids in 1991.

Smith, who is black, was found guilty by an all-white jury. He said his constitutional right to a jury that represents the community was violated because there were only three blacks in the pool of 60 to 100 prospective jurors.

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Blacks in the city made up 85 percent of all blacks in the county.

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The case is Berghuis v. Smith, 08-1402.

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