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Name: Mitleider v. Hall
Case #: 03-56097
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/10/2004

A trial court properly found that a prosecutor’s reasons for peremptory challenges were race-neutral. The trial court had noted that the challenges in this case presented a close call, but had found that the prosecutor was credible and that a valid basis for the exclusions existed. In his appeal in the California appellate court, the defendant had argued that the fact that the prosecutor had a valid basis for the challenged excusals was not the same as a determination that the prosecutor’s subjective reasons were not discriminatory. The court of appeal had found that despite the trial judge’s choice of words, there was no racial basis for the exclusions and that the exclusions had a basis in reality unrelated to racial bias. The 9th Circuit found that the appellate record did not support a conclusion that the state courts failed to follow federal law.