OCTOBER TERM, 2009
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
BERGHUIS, WARDEN v. SMITH
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
No. 08–1402. Argued January 20, 2010—Decided March 30, 2010
Criminal defendants have a Sixth Amendment right to trial by an im-
partial jury drawn from a fair cross section of the community. See
Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U. S. 522. To establish a prima facie viola-
tion of the fair-cross-section requirement, a defendant must prove
that: (1) a group qualifying as “distinctive” (2) is not fairly and rea-
sonably represented in jury venires, and (3) “systematic exclusion” in
the jury-selection process accounts for the underrepresentation.
Duren v. Missouri, 439 U. S. 357, 364.
At voir dire in the Kent County Circuit Court trial of respondent
Smith, an African-American, the venire panel included between 60
and 100 individuals, only 3 of whom, at most, were African-American.
At that time, African-Americans constituted 7.28% of the County’s
jury-eligible population, and 6% of the pool from which potential ju-
rors were drawn. The court rejected Smith’s objection to the panel’s
racial composition, an all-white jury convicted him of second-degree
murder and felony firearm possession, and the court sentenced him
to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
On order of the Michigan Court of Appeals, the trial court con-
ducted an evidentiary hearing on Smith’s fair-cross-section claim.
The evidence at the hearing showed, inter alia, that under the juror-
assignment order in effect when Smith’s jury was empaneled, the
County assigned prospective ju