By Maisa Jean Frank. Full text here.
Jury selection proceeds differently in each state. Though not constitutionally mandated, each jurisdiction allows attorneys to exercise peremptory challenges as part of the process. During the past sixty years, members of the legal profession have consistently called into question the validity of this practice. Supreme Court jurisprudence gives selected groups protection from the discriminatory use of peremptory challenges. As a result of the increasing confusion regarding the appropriate standard to apply to peremptory challenges, many states, most recently Minnesota, have proposed reforms to the use of challenges in the jury selection process. This Note analyzes various proposals for reform of the jury selection process using the recent Minnesota proposals as a case study. It argues for the elimination of peremptory challenges and calls for a uniform national practice.