FLORIDA LAW WEEKLY
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
CASES FROM THE WEEK OF JANUARY 26, 2018
ALTHOUGH PROSECUTOR REQUESTED RACE-NEUTRAL EXPLANATION FOR CHALLENGE TO MALE JUROR, IT WAS CLEAR FROM CONTEXT THAT HE WAS REQUESTING GENDER-NEUTRAL EXPLANATION, AS THE OBJECTION WAS BASED ON THE DEFENSE COUNSEL’S HAVING USED A STRIKE ON ALL FOUR MALES THAT WERE AVAILABLE FOR THE PANEL–HAVING A “BAD FEELING” ABOUT A JUROR OR THINKING THAT A DEFENDANT “DOESN’T WANT” A PROSPECTIVE JUROR ARE NOT RACE OR GENDER-NEUTRAL REASONS FOR PEREMPTORY CHALLENGES AND THE COURT CORRECTLY DISALLOWED THEM.
Johnson v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D205 (Fla. 1st DCA January 22, 2018):
During jury selection, after defense counsel used a peremptory challenge on one of the jurors, the prosecutor asked for a race-neutral reason because the defense had used a strike on all four males that had been available for the panel.
In response, the defense counsel stated that his client had gotten a “bad feeling” from the person and did not think he would be a good defense juror. The trial court did not find that reason to be race-neutral and denied it, which the appellate court upheld. Having a “bad feeling” or generally “not liking a juror” are not gender or race-neutral reasons for striking one.