Michigan Court of Appeals rules that underrepresentation of a race in a jury venire does not constitute reversible error.

In the case of People v. Reginald Salter, Michigan Court of Appeals case no. 300272, the defendant was charged with first-degree premeditated murder, MCL 750.316(1)(a), felon in possession of a firearm, MCL 750.224f, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, MCL 750.227b.

 

“The Sixth Amendment secures to criminal defendants the right to be tried by an impartial jury drawn from sources reflecting a fair cross section of the community.”  Berghuis v. Smith, ____ US ____; 130 S Ct 1382, 1387; 176 L Ed 2d 249 (2010); see also People v. Smith, 463 Mich 199, 202-203; 615 NW2d 1 (2000).  “To establish a prima facie violation of their fair cross-section requirement, a defendant must show that a distinctive group was underrepresented in his venire orjury pool, and that the underrepresentation was the result of systematic exclusion of the group from the jury selection process.”  Id. at 203, Citing Duren v. Missouri, 439 US 357, 364; 99 S Ct 664; 58 L Ed 2d 579 (1979).

 

The Court of Appeals ruled thateven if African-Americans were underrepresented in his venire or jury pool, the defendant must still show that the underrepresentation was the result of systematic exclusion of African-Americans from the jury selection process.