David Mejia's Louisville Criminal Law Blog
Recent Blog Articles
Burglary Convictions in Kentucky Courts (KRS Ch. 511) Cannot Serve as Predicate Offenses – in Sentencing – Under the Federal Armed Career Criminal Act “ACCA” 18 U.S.C. 924(e) »
Miller-El A Near-Unanimous Supreme Court Issues a Reminder That Prosecutors’ Use of Peremptory Challenges to Strike African-Americans From Juries Violates Equal Protection
This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of The Advocate.
Good news. On February 25, 2003, in an 8 to 1 decision, Miller-El vs. Cockrell, 123 S.Ct., 1029 (Feb 25, 2003), written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the United States Supreme Court admonished federal habeas courts reviewing state jury trials that the systematic exclusion of black jurors from capital cases is not only degrading and unworthy of prosecutors, it’s unconstitutional.
Raising the Claim of Racial Profiling at the Pre-Trial Stage in a Motion to Quash Arrest and to Suppress Evidence
This article originally appeared in the March 2003 issue of The Advocate.
Bias, intolerance, prejudice and bigotry in the criminal justice system, as a reflection of its existence in our society as a whole, was the subject of two monthly publications last year in The Advocate (vol. 24, issues No. 3 and 7, May and November 2002). The general topic of racism and the specific subject of racial profiling were discussed in stories, antidotes and articles. See, "Race, Cops, and Traffic Stops," 51 University of Miami Law Review 425 (1997). It is illegal in our Commonwealth, as formally recognized in Kentucky state law in Kentucky's Racial Profiling Act, KRS 15A.195(1), which provides that no police officer "shall stop, detain, or search any person when such action is solely motivated by consideration of race, color, or ethnicity." [emphasis added] In his November 2002 Advocate article, Ernie Lewis presented a general overview of our Racial Profiling Act, the federal civil rights laws, the United States and Kentucky Constitutions as well as general Fourth Amendment principles and the Exclusionary Rule to pre- trial motions in drug cases (volume 24, No. 7). This article presents an alternative approach, one almost exclusively based upon the Fourteenth Amendment, Equal Protection Clause. It is called the "Batson approach." Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).