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People v. Johnson.

2024 CO 35. No. 22SC852. Jury Selection—Peremptory Challenge—Batson—Clear Error—Examination of Jurors—Particular Groups, Inclusion or Exclusion—Race.

June 3, 2024

The Supreme Court concluded that the prosecutor’s explanation that a peremptory challenge against a Black potential juror who said law enforcement had been disrespectful to her or those close to her based on race was a facially race-neutral reason sufficient to satisfy step two of the framework in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986). Because, however, the trial court made no findings to indicate under step three that it had considered all the pertinent circumstances in concluding that the strike was not made with a discriminatory purpose, the record was insufficient for complete appellate review of Johnson’s Batson claim.

The Court also held that courts should use a substantial-motivating-factor approach to resolve Batson challenges when the striking party offers both race-based and race-neutral reasons. Because the court of appeals applied a per se approach, the Court reversed the division’s judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings.

The full opinion is available at

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