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Panel Revokes Habeas Relief Based on Removal of Black Jurors

Posted By Administration, Friday, February 19, 2016

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Thursday flipped a habeas decision from an Oakland federal judge who granted a petition for a new trial in a 1998 felony murder case based on state prosecutors' decision to strike black jurors.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton granted habeas relief to Miguel Sifuentes in 2013, finding that the trial judge in state court had incorrectly determined that prosecutors' reasons for striking two black jurors weren't racially motivated.

But in Thursday's decision, Circuit Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote that Hamilton gave too little deference to the state court judge and the California Court of Appeal, which had previously found that the lead prosecutor offered acceptable, race-neutral reasons for the strikes.

Read the whole story at The Recorder

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