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Name: McClain v. Prunty
Case #: 99-55423
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/05/2000
Subsequent History: None

A robbery conviction was reversed where the prosecutor made race-based peremptory challenges. McClain is black, and the prosecutor used his peremptory challenges to excuse all three black jurors present in the jury venire. McClain challenged the removal of two of them. One juror was excused because, according to the prosecutor, she was “heavy-set” and claimed to work for the airlines, did not work in a “decision-making capacity,” and had a son who was incarcerated. The second was removed because her volunteer activities made her appear to “root for the underdog,” and because of her “body language.” Each of the prosecution’s justifications was either contrary to the record or nonsensical. McClain established his burden that the prosecutor’s proffered explanations were a pretext for excluding the black jurors from serving on the jury and reversal was required.