Texas Wesleyan Law Review

Document Type



This Comment explores the right of citizens to be part of the justice system by exercising their right to sit on a jury. A citizen's right to be empanelled, however, could directly affect a party's right to a fair and impartial trial. Thus, some safeguards, such as challenges for cause, must be kept in place. However, the use of peremptory strikes may be interfering far more with a citizen's right to sit on a jury than with a party's right to a fair and impartial trial. In Rivera v. Illinois, the Supreme Court reiterated that it is up to the states to determine the existence and exercise of peremptory challenges, although peremptory challenges themselves are not a constitutional guarantee with regards to an impartial jury and a fair trial. Although the Supreme Court has left this task to the states, the Court has held that a juror may not be stricken based on race, ethnicity, or gender. This Comment evaluates which states have extended the restriction to other categories such as religion and age and discusses the extent to which other categories should be included. Thus, as state law continues to broaden the equal protection of jurors under the Equal Protection Clause, the question must be asked: When is the exercise of a peremptory strike not purposeful discrimination against a potential juror?



First Page


Last Page