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CASSELL V. TEXAS, 339 U. S. 282 (1950)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cassell v. Texas, 339 U.S. 282 (1950)

Cassell v. Texas

No. 46

Argued November 10, 1949

Decided April 24, 1950

339 U.S. 282


Petitioner, a Negro, was convicted in a Texas state court for murder, notwithstanding his motion to quash the indictment on the ground that his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment had been violated by the exclusion of Negroes from the grand jury. The jury commissioners testified that no Negroes were selected for the grand jury because they chose jurymen only from people with whom they were personally acquainted, and they knew no Negroes who were eligible and available for grand jury service. It also appeared from that record that, from 1942, when Hill v. Texas, 316 U. S. 400, was decided, until petitioner's indictment in 1947, there had been 21 grand juries, on none of which was there more than one Negro, that, of the 252 members, 17 (or 6.7%) were Negroes, and that about 15.5% of the population of the county and 6.5% of the eligible voters were Negroes. Held: The conviction is reversed. Pp. 282-298.

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