If your criminal case goes to trial, the very first thing that happens is jury selection. Both the prosecutor and the criminal defense lawyer get to question prospective jurors to ultimately pick the most fair jury to hear the case. Each lawyer gets peremptory challenges, which means the lawyers can strike a certain number of jurors for any reason other than race.
There is an analysis that takes place to determine if the striking of a juror by either lawyer is race, ethnic and/or gender neutral and genuine.
1. The lawyer objecting to the other side’s use of a peremptory strike has to make a timely objection, show that the prospective juror is a member of a distinct racial group, and request a reason for the strike.
2. The lawyer that attempted to strike the juror must give a race-neutral explanation.
3. If the explanation is race-neutral on its face and the judge believes the reason is not a pretext, the strike is sustained.