7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: United States of America v. Jalen Howard
Case No.: 21-2660
Officials: Rovner, Hamilton, and Brennan, Circuit Judges.
Focus: Jury Selection Errors
A jury convicted Howard of being a felon in possession of a weapon, but he asserts that the jury trial was tainted by errors that occurred during jury selection when the district court injected the prosecutor’s race into the Batson inquiry and otherwise improperly evaluated the peremptory strike against a Black juror. The Seventh Circuit ruled that the district court judge, after listening to the prosecutor’s rationales for his strikes, found those explanations to be credible. It is true that much of her assessment centered on the consistency of the strikes between Juror 24 and Juror 13, but she assessed the sincerity of the prosecutor’s beliefs in his professed internet abstention theory and found him to be credible. The Seventh Circuit thus finds no error, however, and therefore affirm.