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Name: Gonzalez v. Brown
Case #: 07-56107
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 10/30/2009

In a federal AEDPA review of a denial of a Batson challenge, both the prosecutor’s inability to remember the reason for the strike and the totality of circumstances surrounding the strikes are considered in evaluating whether the state court erred. At the state trial, defendant, who is African-American, made a Wheeler motion alleging that the prosecutor’s three strikes of African-Americans was motivated by defendant’s race. The prosecutor was able to adequately explain the last two strikes, but claimed she could not recall her reason for the first strike. The trial court found that in view of all the circumstances, there was no racial prejudice involved. In the subsequent habeas action, the federal court stated that although the prosecutor’s failure to give a race-neutral reason for striking the first juror weighed against her in the assessment of her motive, the totality of the circumstances indicated that there was no purposeful discrimination.