Jordan v. State, No. 73--543

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtGRIMES; MANN, C.J., and McNULTY
Citation293 So.2d 131
PartiesWillie Lee JORDAN, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 73--543
Decision Date19 April 1974

Page 131

293 So.2d 131
Willie Lee JORDAN, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 73--543.
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District.
April 19, 1974.

Page 132

James A. Gardner, Public Defender, and Charles H. Livingston, Asst. Public Defender, Sarasota, for appellant.

Robert L. Shevin, Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, and Charles Corces, Jr., Asst. Atty., Gen., Tampa, for appellee.

GRIMES, Judge.

The appellant, a black man, was charged with raping a white woman. Prior to trial, appellant filed a 'Motion to Exclude Jury Panel' which was grounded upon appellant's contention that the panel was selected in an unconstitutional manner. 1 Following denial of his motion, appellant was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

For purposes of the hearing on appellant's motion, counsel agreed to adopt a transcript of testimony in an unrelated trial describing the manner of selecting the jury lists in Sarasota County which was utilized at the time pertinent to this case. The jury lists were made up from the voter registration cards. There were forty-five precincts in the county. When it came time to pick a jury list, the Jury Commissioners, with no particular pattern or system, would select four or five precincts. They would then examine the voter registration cards from these precincts and determine by reference to such factors as the voter's age, occupation and felony convictions, if any, who was qualified to serve as a juror. The voter registration cards indicated the race of the voter, but the Jury Commissioners testified that this factor was given no heed.

Upon sorting out the qualified prospective jurors, the Commissioners made a master list of their names. The list was cut into uniform pieces, each containing one name. The pieces were deposited in a jury drum to be drawn out from time to

Page 133

time as the need for a new jury venire arose. From a venire winnowed in this manner, appellant's jury was derived.

The master jury list from which appellant's jury panel came had its source in five precincts selected by the Jury Commissioners. There were four black voters registered in those precincts so, at the most, this jury list had names of four blacks among its 1344 members. The list was complied in October 1972. 2 There was a similar dearth of black voters in the precincts which were the source of master jury lists which preceded and followed the October 1972 list. 3

The established rule is that a defendant who contends that his jury was selected in a manner that unconstitutionally discriminated on the basis of race makes out a prima facie case by demonstrating: (1) that there was an opportunity for racial discrimination in the jury selection process; and, (2) that there was a substantial statistical disparity between the proportion of blacks selected and the proportion of blacks eligible for jury duty. Alexander v. Louisiana, 405 U.S. 625, 630--631, 92 S.Ct. 1221, 31 L.Ed.2d 536 (1972). 'Once a prima facie case of invidious discrimination is established, the burden of proof shifts to the State to rebut the presumption of unconstitutional action by showing that permissible racially neutral selection criteria and procedures have produced the monochromatic result.' Alexander v. Louisiana, supra, at 632, 92 S.Ct. at 1226.

Appellant has shown that at the time pertinent to this appeal, 2.65% Of the registered voters in Sarasota County were non-white. He has shown that, at the most, four of the 1344 (.297%) prospective jurors chosen for the October 1972 jury list were black. 4 In view of the many cases where a less disproportionate comparison was sufficient to establish this aspect of a prima facie case, 5 we are compelled to hold that appellant has demonstrated the requisite...

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5 practice notes
  • People v. Bell, No. S004260
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • September 5, 1989
    ...125 Ariz. 146, 148, 608 P.2d 83; State v. Barrow (1977) 239 Ga. 162, 236 S.E.2d 257, 260; Jordan v. State (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1974) 293 So.2d 131.) 5 Defendant also noted the process by which the jury venire was formulated. As stated by the court in People v. Buford, supra, 132 Cal.App.3d at p......
  • Huffman v. Wainwright, No. 80-5237
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 20, 1981
    ...relief, of course, would be a decision that Huffman's jury venire was drawn in the same manner found unconstitutional in Jordan v. State, 293 So.2d 131 Huffman was convicted by a Sarasota County, Florida jury in 1972 on charges of rape and breaking and entering with intent to commit a felon......
  • Huffman v. Florida, No. 77-6025
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 1, 1978
    ...from an all-white venire, drawn from the same master jury list which the Florida District Court of Appeal held, in Jordan v. State, 293 So.2d 131 (1974), to have been composed in a racially discriminatory fashion. As the District Court of Appeal noted in Jordan, the jury list was derived by......
  • Carwise v. State, No. AW-31
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 14, 1984
    ...or summoning is thought to assure a "fair possibility for obtaining a representative cross-section of the community." Jordan v. State, 293 So.2d 131, 134 (Fla. 2d DCA 1974) (citation omitted). This principle was recognized in Bass v. State, supra, where the court noted that Sergeant Morris'......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • People v. Bell, No. S004260
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • September 5, 1989
    ...125 Ariz. 146, 148, 608 P.2d 83; State v. Barrow (1977) 239 Ga. 162, 236 S.E.2d 257, 260; Jordan v. State (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1974) 293 So.2d 131.) 5 Defendant also noted the process by which the jury venire was formulated. As stated by the court in People v. Buford, supra, 132 Cal.App.3d at p......
  • Huffman v. Wainwright, No. 80-5237
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • July 20, 1981
    ...relief, of course, would be a decision that Huffman's jury venire was drawn in the same manner found unconstitutional in Jordan v. State, 293 So.2d 131 Huffman was convicted by a Sarasota County, Florida jury in 1972 on charges of rape and breaking and entering with intent to commit a felon......
  • Huffman v. Florida, No. 77-6025
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 1, 1978
    ...from an all-white venire, drawn from the same master jury list which the Florida District Court of Appeal held, in Jordan v. State, 293 So.2d 131 (1974), to have been composed in a racially discriminatory fashion. As the District Court of Appeal noted in Jordan, the jury list was derived by......
  • Carwise v. State, No. AW-31
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 14, 1984
    ...or summoning is thought to assure a "fair possibility for obtaining a representative cross-section of the community." Jordan v. State, 293 So.2d 131, 134 (Fla. 2d DCA 1974) (citation omitted). This principle was recognized in Bass v. State, supra, where the court noted that Sergeant Morris'......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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