City of Seattle v. Erickson

This court case is completed

The sole African-American juror in the Seattle Municipal Court trial of City of Seattle v. Erickson was excluded from a jury panel after the prosecutor asked him about interactions with police, a question not asked of other potential jurors, and then used a peremptory challenge to exclude him. The defense objected and challenged the peremptory claiming that it was racially motivated, used to strike the only black juror, and was used because the juror had an experience unique to black men facing racial profiling by police. The trial court rejected the challenge and the juror was excluded. The ACLU of Washington’s amicus brief argued that this case demonstrated a need for a stronger protection against bias in jury selection than the federal Batson rule.  The Washington Supreme Court agreed, and overturned Mr. Erickson’s conviction.