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Despite the efforts of lawyers and judges to eliminate racial discrimination in the courts does racial bias play a part in todays jury selection Positive steps have been taken in past court cases to ensure fair and unbiased juries Unfortunately a popular strategy among lawyers is to incorporate racial bias without directing attention to their actions They are taught to look for the unseen and to notice the unnoticed The Supreme Court in its precedent setting decision on the case of Batson v Kentucky 476 US 79 1986 is the first step to limiting racial discrimination in the court room The process of selecting jurors begins with prospective jurors being brought into the courtroom then separating them into smaller groups to be seated in the jury box The judge and or attorneys ask questions with intent to determine if any juror is biased or cannot deal with the issues fairly The question process is referred to as voir dire a French word meaning to see to speak During voir dire attorneys have the right to excuse a juror in peremptory challenges Peremptory challenges are based on the potential juror admitting bias acquaintanceship with one of the parties personal knowledge of the facts or the attorney believing heshe might not be impartial In the case of Batson v Kentucky James Batson a black man was indicted for second-degree burglary and receipt of stolen goods During the selection of the jury the prosecutor used his peremptory challenges to strike out all of the four black potential jurors leaving an all white jury Batsons attorney moved to discharge the venire the list from which jurors may be selected on the grounds that the prosecutors peremptory challenges violated his clients Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to have a jury derived from a cross-section of the communityPeople v Wheeler 583 P3d 748 Calif 1978 The circuit court ruled in favor of the
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