Bar Exam (US) Criminal Procedure: Lionel, a construction worker, was injured in a job-site accid...

Question

Lionel, a construction worker, was injured in a job-site accident at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, a federal enclave. Lionel sued Clapper Concrete Company for negligence in federal district court in Louisiana claiming that a Clapper employee permitted one of the company's trucks to roll backward and pin him against some construction equipment. Lionel invoked his Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury.

During voir dire , Clapper used two of its three peremptory challenges authorized by statute to remove black persons from the prospective jury. Clapper's challenges were exercised under 28 U.S.C. Section 1870. The federal law provides:

"In civil cases, each party shall be entitled to three peremptory challenges. Several defendants or several plaintiffs may be considered as a single party for the purposes of making challenges, or the court may allow additional peremptory challenges and permit them to be exercised separately or jointly."

Lionel, who is black, requested that the court require Clapper to articulate a race-neutral explanation for the peremptory strikes. The district court judge denied the request on the ground that a private litigant in a civil case can exercise peremptory challenges without accountability for alleged racial classifications.

As impaneled, the jury included 11 white persons and 1 black person. In this judicial district, blacks comprise 50 percent of the population. The jury subsequently returned the verdict in favor of Clapper.

Lionel appeals the district court ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals. He bases his appeal on the ground that the trial court judge erred in failing to have Clapper offer a race-neutral explanation for its peremptory challenges. Lionel's appeal will be

AnswerChoose the correct answer.Choose all that apply. Correct Partially correct Incorrect Don't Know

  1. A
    Correct Answer
    successful, if Clapper used its peremptory challenges to exclude jurors on account of race
  2. B
    Correct Answer
    successful, because Lionel did not receive a fair trial since the jury was not drawn from a representative cross-section of the community
  3. C
    Correct Answer
    unsuccessful, because a civil litigant may not raise the equal protection claim of a person whom the opposing party has excluded from jury service on account of race
  4. D
    Correct Answer
    unsuccessful, because Clapper's peremptory challenges were authorized by statute, it is not required to articulate a race-neutral explanation for striking the two jurors
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