Georgia v. McCollum, 505 U.S. 42, 7 (1992)

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Opinion of the Court

on the basis of race. In Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co., 500 U. S. 614 (1991), the Court decided that in a civil case, private litigants cannot exercise their peremptory strikes in a racially discriminatory manner.5

In deciding whether the Constitution prohibits criminal defendants from exercising racially discriminatory peremptory challenges, we must answer four questions. First, whether a criminal defendant's exercise of peremptory challenges in a racially discriminatory manner inflicts the harms addressed by Batson. Second, whether the exercise of peremptory challenges by a criminal defendant constitutes state action. Third, whether prosecutors have standing to raise this constitutional challenge. And fourth, whether the constitutional rights of a criminal defendant nonetheless preclude the extension of our precedents to this case.



The majority in Powers recognized that "Batson 'was designed "to serve multiple ends," ' only one of which was to protect individual defendants from discrimination in the selection of jurors." 499 U. S., at 406. As in Powers and Edmonson, the extension of Batson in this context is designed to remedy the harm done to the "dignity of persons" and to the "integrity of the courts." Powers, 499 U. S., at 402.

As long ago as Strauder, this Court recognized that denying a person participation in jury service on account of his race unconstitutionally discriminates against the excluded juror. 100 U. S., at 308. See also Batson, 476 U. S., at 87. While "[a]n individual juror does not have a right to sit on any particular petit jury, . . . he or she does possess the right not to be excluded from one on account of race." Powers,

5 In his dissent in Edmonson, Justice Scalia stated that the effect of that decision logically must apply to defendants in criminal prosecutions. 500 U. S., at 644.

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