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Name: People v. Romero
Case #: C062495
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/27/2012
Summary

Defendant’s Sixth Amendment claim that Hispanics and Asian-Americans are underrepresented on grand juries fails because there was no prima facie showing of systematic exclusion in the jury selection process. Romero was convicted of murder and other offenses. Among other issues raised on appeal, Romero challenged minority representation on grand juries in Yolo County, alleging the process for selecting the grand jury violated his Sixth Amendment right to have a jury drawn from a cross-section of the community and his right to equal protection. However, to establish a prima facie violation of the cross-section requirement, a defendant must show a distinctive group is excluded; that the representation of this group in venires from which juries are drawn is not fair and reasonable in relation to the numbers of said group in the community; and that this underrepresentation is the result of systematic exclusion. Statistical evidence of a disparity is not sufficient for this showing – the defendant must also show the disparity results from an improper feature of the jury selection process. With respect to Romero’s Sixth Amendment claim, he “failed to identify any aspect of the jury selection process which results in the systematic exclusion of Hispanics and Asian-Americans from grand juries.” His Fourth Amendment claim also fails because nothing in the procedures employed established that the jury selection process discriminated against Hispanics and Asian-Americans.