US LAWS, STATUTES and CODES : Chan Robles Virtual Law Library USA Supreme Court Decisions | Resolutions : Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library™ |™   
Main Index Repository of Laws, Statutes and Codes Latest Philippine Supreme Court Decisions Chan Robles Virtual Law Library Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Legal Resources United States Supreme Court Jurisprudence ChanRobles LawTube - Social Network

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : DebtKollect Company, Inc. - Debt Collection Firm Intellectual Property Division - Chan Robles Law Firm

Philippine Supreme Court DecisionsChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

google search for chanrobles.comSearch for

SWAIN V. ALABAMA, 380 U. S. 202 (1965)

Subscribe to Cases that cite 380 U. S. 202 RSS feed for this section

U.S. Supreme Court

Swain v. Alabama, 380 U.S. 202 (1965)

Swain v. Alabama

No. 64

Argued December 8, 1964

Decided March 8, 1965

380 U.S. 202


Petitioner, a Negro, was indicted and convicted of rape in the Circuit Court of Talladega County, Alabama, and sentenced to death. Of those in the county eligible for jury selection for grand and petit juries, 26% are Negroes, while the jury panels since 1953 have averaged 10% to 15% Negroes. In this case, there were four or five Negroes on the grand jury panel, and two served on the grand jury. Although petit jury venires in criminal cases include an average of six to seven Negroes, no Negro has served on a petit jury in the county since about 1950. Here, of the eight Negroes on the venire, two were exempt, and six were peremptorily struck by the prosecutor. Petitioner's motions to quash the indictment, to strike the trial jury venire, and to void the trial jury, all based on discrimination in the selection of jurors, were denied, and his conviction was affirmed by the Alabama Supreme Court.


1. A defendant in a criminal case is not constitutionally entitled to a proportionate number of his race on the trial jury or the jury panel. P. 380 U. S. 208.

2. Purposeful racial discrimination is not satisfactorily established by showing only that an identifiable group has been underrepresented by as much as 10%. P. 380 U. S. 208.

3. There is no evidence in this case that the jury commissioners applied different jury selection standards as between Negroes and whites. P. 380 U. S. 209.

4. An imperfect system of selection of jury panels is not equivalent to purposeful racial discrimination. P. 380 U. S. 209.

5. The prosecutor's striking of Negroes from the jury panel in one particular case under the peremptory challenge system, which permits a challenge without a reason stated, does not constitute denial of equal protection of the laws. P. 380 U. S. 221.

6. Even if a State's systematic striking of Negroes in selecting trial juries raises a prima facie case of discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment, the record here is insufficient to establish such a systematic striking in the county. Pp. 380 U. S. 222-228.

(a) Petitioner has the burden of proof, and he has failed to meet it. P. 380 U. S. 226. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 380 U. S. 203

(b) Total exclusion of Negroes from venires by state officials creates an inference of discrimination, but this rule of proof cannot be applied where it is not shown that the State is responsible for the exclusion of Negroes through peremptory challenges. Pp. 380 U. S. 226-227.

275 Ala. 508, 156 So.2d 368, affirmed.

ChanRobles™ LawTube

google search for Search for

Supreme Court Decisions Philippine Supreme Court DecisionsUS Supreme Court Decisions



Browse By ->> Volume


Browse By ->> Year


  Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company | Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library |™