Duquesne Law Review


In Witherspoon v. Illinois the defendant asked the court to reverse his conviction by a non-scrupled jury arguing that (1) the jury determining the guilt issue favored the death penalty; (2) those who favored the death penalty were highly authoritarian, dogmatic personalties; and (3) highly dogmatic jurors were "prosecution prone." From these premises, the defendant concluded that his Sixth Amendment guarantee to an impartial jury was denied by the non-scrupled jury determining his guilt because it was "prosecution prone." The Court acknowledged the defendant's first premise when it reversed his death sentence, but rejected the full argument because premises (2) and (3) had not been proven to its satisfaction.

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