Brief Fact Summary. The trial judge refused to allow the black defendant to ask potential jurors questions about racism.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. “[A] capital defendant accused of an interracial crime is entitled to have prospective jurors informed of the race of the victim and questioned on the issue of racial bias.”
It remains an unfortunate fact in our society that violent crimes perpetrated against members of other racial or ethnic groups often raise such a possibility.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether “the trial judge violated the petitioner’s right to a fair trial by refusing to question the prospective jurors on racial prejudice.”
Held. Yes. The Supreme Court of the United States first distinguished this case from the holding Ristaino on the grounds that this was a capital case. In such a proceeding, “the jury is called upon to make a.