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Name: People v. Davis
Case #: C054129
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/26/2008

When a defendant make a prima facie case of an inference of discriminatory purpose in the prosecution’s exercise of a peremptory challenge to a juror, the trial court can rely on the prosecution’s sincere and legitimate reason to uphold the challenge. (People v. Guerra (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1067; People v. Stanley (2006) 39 Cal.4th 913.) At trial, the prosecutor exercised her peremptory challenges to excuse two African-American women and appellant made a Wheeler motion. The prosecution explained that she excused the first woman because the woman arrived late and seemed confused, and that she excused the second because the potential juror was employed as a nursing assistant and she (the prosecutor) had a bias against nursing assistants as a result of a negative experience involving a nursing assistant and her father. The appellate court noted that the trial court is not required to make specific and detailed explanations on the record when evaluating a Wheeler motion, and that the explanations proffered by the prosecutor were non-discriminatory and sincere.