Uttecht v. Brown
What's at Stake
Reviewing whether the state courts improperly excluded a prospective juror in a death penalty case after he indicated that future dangerousness was a relevant consideration but that he would, in any event, follow the law as instructed by the judge. DECIDED
The prosecution in this case was allowed to exclude for cause a prospective juror who indicated that future dangerousness was an important factor to consider in weighing the death penalty, but that he would follow the judge’s instructions and could impose the death penalty in an “appropriate” case even if the defendant would otherwise be sentenced to life without parole. The ACLU amicus brief argues that the juror’s exclusion under these circumstances was inconsistent with “clearly established” law and the defendant is therefore entitled to federal habeas relief.