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Supreme Court hears jury selection, FDA regulation cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Tuesday in Snyder v. Louisiana [SCOTUSwiki backgrounder; merit briefs], 06-10119, where it considered whether a prosecutor improperly excluded all black potential jurors from serving on a jury in a murder case because of their race. During the sentencing phase of Allen Snyder's trial, the prosecutor drew comparisons between the proceeding and the trial of OJ Simpson [CourtTV case materials] in urging the jury to impose the death penalty. The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld [opinion, PDF] Snyder's death sentence. Snyder argued on appeal that the prosecutor used the comparison to create a race-based rationale for the death penalty. In its 1986 ruling in Batson v. Kennedy [opinion text], the Supreme Court held that lawyers cannot exclude people from a jury solely on account of their race. AP has more. The Christian Science Monitor has additional coverage.

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