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Nevada court grants new trial due to jury selection question

New courtrooms, chambers for Nevada high courts
Posted at 8:23 AM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 11:28:08-05

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Supreme court has overturned a man's convictions, ruling that the trial judge failed to adequate consider whether the prosecution engaged in race-based discrimination during jury selection.

The Nevada Appeal reports that the court's opinion Thursday grants James Marlin Cooper a new trial on charges of child abuse/neglect and battery against a woman and her two children in their Las Vegas apartment.

The prosecution used two of its five peremptory challenges to remove African-Americans from the jury panel, and the opinion notes there were only three African American jurors in the jury pool and that Cooper is African-American.

Justice Lidia Stiglich wrote there was at least an inference of purposeful discrimination because the prosecution used a disproportionate percentage of its challenges against African-American jurors and wouldn't explain why.