All-White Jury to Decide O.J. Simpson Case
Posted Sep 12, 2008 6:49 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A jury of 10 whites and two Hispanics will decide whether to convict O.J. Simpson of robbery and kidnapping charges, prompting objections from defense lawyers.
Simpson’s lawyers fought to keep two black women on the panel and charged that the prosecutor's use of peremptory challenges to exclude them violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1986 decision barring race-based peremptories, Batson v. Kentucky, the Associated Press reports. Two alternates are black, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
District Attorney David Roger said he struck the women for race-neutral reasons. He said both jurors had strong religious views. One, a fifth-grade teacher, had a forgiving nature, he said. He pointed out that the other, a bookkeeper, said she couldn’t send anyone to prison and she believed her brother had been wrongfully convicted of child abuse.
Simpson and a co-defendant are accused of stealing items from two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room.