Supreme Court restores California rape conviction
The decision reverses an appeals court that overturned the conviction of Steven Jackson in the Sacramento-area rape of a 72-year-old woman. Justices, in an opinion that reveals irritation, call the appeals court ruling 'inexplicable.' It's the 10th time since November they've reversed 9th Circuit rulings.
By David G. Savage, LA Times, March 21, 2011
Fueling the rapist's challenge was the Batson v. Kentucky case, which, as I've written before, makes zero sense. Its holding is basically that a potential juror in a criminal case cannot be excluded solely for racial reasons, a rule admittedly based more on a "racial dignity" rationale than a Constitutional right.
Because ultimately, the prosecutor wants blacks struck for the same reason the defense lawyer wants them on. Both assume that the they'll acquit the black defendant. Both are unabashedly engaging in the exact same racial generalization: a black juror is more likely to sympathize with a black defendant, suspect the police of being racist, etc. So it's no more "racist" for the prosecutor to get his way than for the defense attorney to get his.
But of course, in America, "racist" isn't so much defined as the making of racial generalizations, it's defined as those racial generalizations that hurt blacks. Or other current minorities. Blacks, in other words, are arguing not that they've got the right to a "fair" jury, but one that will vote their way.
In a country where the black Attorney General speaks of "my people" — and does not mean "the American people" — it's not unexpected racial partisanship.