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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 65664 Find in a Library
Title: JURY COMPOSITION - THE PURPOSEFUL INCLUSION OF AMERICAN INDIANS
Journal: SOUTH DAKOTA LAW REVIEW  Volume:16  Dated:(WINTER 1971)  Pages:214-221
Author(s): W R CRENSHAW
Corporate Author: University of South Dakota
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD 57069
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE ANALYZES THE IMPLICATIONS OF A SOUTH DAKOTA DISTRICT COURT RULING MANDATING THE PURPOSEFUL INLCUSION OF AMERICAN INDIANS INTO THE JURY SELECTION PROCEDURES OF MELLETTE COUNTY.
Abstract: THE PLAINTIFFS WERE ALL AMERICAN INDIANS FILING A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST THE STATE'S ATTORNEY AND ALL COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. THEY ALLEGED THAT PROCEDURES AND METHODS HAD BEEN USED SYSTEMATICALLY AND DELIBERATELY WHICH RESULTED IN EITHER NO AMERICAN INDIANS BEING SELECTED FROM THE JURY LISTS OR IN A SMALL OR TOKEN NUMBER BEING SELECTED, WHICH WAS EASILY ELIMINATED THROUGH PEREMPTORY CHALLENGES. THE PRESIDING JUDGE ENTERED A RULING IN FAVOR OF THE PLAINTIFFS AND ORDERED THE DEFENDANTS TO TAKE ALL NECESSARY STEPS TO ENSURE THAT THE JURY ROLLS AND BOXES REFLECT A TRULY REPRESENTATIVE CROSS SECTION OF THE ADULT POPULATION OF MELLETTE COUNTY. THE CONSENT DECREE DELINEATED COMPLETE GUIDELINES FOR THE REVISION OF THE JURY COMMISSIONERS TO SELECT QUALIFIED AMERICAN INDIANS WHO ARE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE AND THEREFORE NOT FOUND ON POTENTIAL VOTER REGISTRATION LISTS. NEVERTHELESS, TWO SHORTCOMINGS OF THE PROVISION REMAIN. THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE JURY COMMISSIONERS MAY GO BEYOND THE QUALIFIED VOTER REGISTRATION STANDARD ARE NOT SPECIFIED, AND THE DISCRETIONARY POWER OF THE JURY SELECTORS REMAINS IN FORCE. A NATIONAL INCLUSIONARY TREND IS FURTHER SUPPORTED BY A TEXAS COURT OF APPEALS RULING HOLDING THAT THE PURPOSEFUL INCLUSION OF BLACK CITIZENS IN THE GRAND JURY WHICH RETURNED AN INDICTMENT AGAINST A BLACK MAN IN A COUNTY IN WHICH 10 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION WAS BLACK DID NOT CONSTITUTE A DENIAL OF EQUAL PROTECTION OR DUE PROCESS. IT IS URGED THAT SOUTH DAKOTA FOLLOW UP THE MELLETTE COUNTY DECREE WITH THE PASSAGE OF A LEGISLATIVE ENACTMENT REQUIRING EACH COUNTY TO CONFORM TO VENIRE SELECTION METHODS AND PROCEDURES AS DELINEATED BY THE COURT. THIS WOULD STRIKE DOWN THE CLASSIC 'VOTER REGISTRATION' HURDLE. THE LEGISLATION SHOULD ALSO PROVIDE FOR FEDERAL SUBDIVISIONS FOR JURY SELECTION PURPOSES AND REQUIRE THAT ALL JURIES TRYING CIVIL CASES BE DRAWN FROM THE COMMUNITY WHERE THE CAUSE OF ACTION AROSE AND, IN CRIMINAL CASES, WHERE THE CRIME OCCURRED. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): American Indians; Court ordered institutional reform; Discrimination; Jury selection; South Dakota
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65664

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