Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, September 11, 2023


Page 1


Court of Appeal: Juror-Challenge May Be Allowed Based on Distrust of Police Officers


By a MetNews Staff Writer


A judge was not statutorily bound to deny a challenge-for-cause based on a prospective juror’s expressed distrust of police officers, Div. Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal has held.

Sabrina Aranda appealed her conviction for possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility, citing Code of Civil Procedure §231.7(e), which provides that “[a] peremptory challenge for any of the following reasons is presumed to be invalid…: [¶](1) Expressing a distrust of…law enforcement….” The statute delineates the showing that must be made to overcome the presumption.

“The language of section 231.7 is clear: it applies only to peremptory challenges,” Justice Thomas M. Goethals said in an opinion, filed Thursday.

He continued:

“We therefore need not consider prior drafts of the statute, nor may we construct section 231.7 in a way that conflicts with its plain language. To do so would run afoul of well-established rules of statutory construction. Because the prosecution challenged Juror 134 for cause and not with a peremptory challenge, section 231.7 does not apply.”

The case is People v. Aranda, G061394.


Copyright 2023, Metropolitan News Company