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Name: People v. Young
Case #: S018909
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/31/2005

The trial court did not err in finding that the defendant had failed to establish a prima facie case supporting his claim that the prosecution had unfairly used peremptory challenges to strike two black female jurors. The Supreme Court reaffirmed that black women are a cognizable group for Batson/Wheeler purposes, but here the record suggested reasonable grounds for striking the two jurors. Justice Brown wrote separately to question the propriety of recognizing African-American women as a cognizable group, suggesting that the court’s decision in the Batson/Wheeler area had gone too far towards promoting maximum diversity rather than following the federal model of determining whether a group has been the target of deliberate discrimination by the prosecutor. While Justice Brown acknowledged that black women might be a cognizable group for purposes of Batson/Wheeler objections, she opined that no evidentiary support of that status had been presented in either this case or in People v. Motton (1985) 39 Cal.3d 596, the case relied on by the majority.