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2004 Stories

Clinic Files Brief in Support of Supreme Court Review for Death Row Inmate
On Friday, May 28, Boalt's Death Penalty Clinic and the Washington office of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of death-row inmate Thomas Miller-El's petition for writ of certiorari. This is the third amicus brief the clinic has submitted in support of Miller-El.

Miller-El was sentenced to death in Texas in 1986, after the prosecution used 10 of its 11 peremptory challenges to strike qualified African Americans from the jury. Miller-El's appeals are based on the rule of Batson v. Kentucky, which prohibits racial discrimination in the exercise of peremptory challenges in jury selection.

Last year the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals had refused to consider Miller-El's Batson claim based on a standard of review that was too demanding. It concluded that Miller-El had clearly demonstrated his case should be heard by the 5th Circuit. In March 2004 the 5th Circuit again ruled that prosecutors had not intentionally excluded African Americans from Miller-El's capital jury, which prompted the clinic and Sidley Austin to file the most recent amicus brief in support of the petition.

For more information, please visit the Death Penalty Clinic's website or contact Linda Anderberg at 510-642-6073 or














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