Published on: Friday, February 26, 2021

A case involving two minority individuals not chosen for a jury in a sexual assault case because of their own run-ins with police officers forced the Connecticut Supreme Court to wrestle with difficult questions Friday (article available here).

The underlying question is one that has plagued voir dire in countless forums: Is distrust in the criminal justice system an adequate reason to strike a juror?

In the case at hand, Jose A.B. is appealing his conviction on various sexual assault charges on the basis that prosecutors unconstitutionally struck two prospective jurors because of comments they made indicating skepticism about the court system. The ethnicity of N.L. and C.J. is unknown except that they were minorities.