State v. Crump, 52860

Decision Date12 January 1988
Docket NumberNo. 52860,52860
Citation747 S.W.2d 193
PartiesSTATE of Missouri, Respondent, v. Samuel CRUMP, Movant.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Janis C. Good, Asst. Public Defender, St. Louis, for movant.

William L. Webster, Atty. Gen., Karen A. King, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, for respondent.

PUDLOWSKI, Judge.

At approximately 7:00 p.m. on February 10, 1986, Police Officers Willis Cook and Terry Kaelin were called to a vacant home in the City of St. Louis to investigate a possible burglary. When the officers arrived, they found that the back door had been kicked open. Upon inspecting the inside of the building, the police found that the fireplace mantel had been removed from the wall and that the sink in the bathroom had been pried loose from the wall. Defendant's brother was apprehended as he attempted to climb out of a second-story window onto a small porch. The defendant was found hiding in the basement of the building and was arrested.

The defendant, Samuel Crump, is a career criminal whose record is replete with at least eleven convictions for burglary in the second degree and stealing, and one conviction for trespass first degree and tampering second degree. At the time of his arrest Crump had been out of the penitentiary and on parole for only eight days. Crump was convicted by a jury of burglary in the second degree and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

On appeal the defendant argues that (1) the prosecutor improperly used his peremptory challenges to eliminate blacks from the jury panel; (2) the trial court erred by improperly admitting evidence of the defendant's prior convictions; and (3) the trial court erred in responding to a question asked by the jury during its deliberation.

In his first point the defendant argues that he was deprived of the equal protection of the law and his due process rights by the prosecutor's use of her peremptory challenges which he alleges was discriminatory. He further argues that the court erred under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69 (1986) in accepting the reasons given by the prosecutor for striking these jurors.

The thirty-six member venire was composed of sixteen black and twenty white members. After the court accepted both parties' strikes for cause, the prosecutor used her peremptory challenges to eliminate six blacks from the venire. The petit jury that was ultimately selected was comprised of five black and seven white members. The alternate juror was also black.

The arguments of both parties center around the reasons given by the prosecutor for exercising her peremptory challenges. The defendant argues that the reasons given for striking the six blacks were not neutral and thus were racially motivated. The state argues to the contrary. As will be explained below, we need not address this issue.

The Kentucky trial that gave rise to the Batson decision involved a black defendant who was tried and convicted by an all white jury. On appeal the Supreme Court recognized that the state denies a black defendant the equal protection of the law when it puts him on trial before a jury from which members of his race have been purposefully excluded. Batson, 106 S.Ct. at 1716. Such exclusion denies the defendant the protection that is afforded when he is tried before a jury of his peers. Id. at 1717. A jury is described as a body composed of the peers or equals of the person whose rights it is selected or summoned to determine. Batson, 106 S.Ct. at 1717 (citing Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. (10 Otto) 303, 308, 25 L.Ed. 664 (1880).

In order to assure such protection the Batson court formulated a test to determine whether a black defendant has made a prima facie showing of purposeful discrimination in the selection of the petit jury through the state's use of peremptory challenges. First, the defendant must show that he and the excluded jurors are members of the same cognizable racial group. Second, the defendant is entitled to rely on the fact that the peremptory challenge constitutes a jury selection process that permits discrimination. Third, the defendant must show that these facts and all relevant circumstances raise an inference that the prosecutor used her peremptory challenges to exclude veniremen from the petit jury on account of race. In deciding whether the defendant has made a prima facie showing the reviewing court is required to give substantial deference to the decision of the trial judge. Batson, 106 S.Ct. at 1723. Until the defendant makes a prima facie showing, the reasons given by the state for excluding veniremen are irrelevant. After the defendant makes his case, however, the burden shifts to the state to articulate a neutral and reasonably specific explanation of his legitimate reason for exercising the challenge. Id. at 1723, 1724 n. 20.

While this specific issue has never been before this court, the language and spirit of Batson as well as notions of fundamental fairness lead us to the conclusion that a black defendant cannot complain that he was denied the equal protection of the law when he is tried by a jury which is forty-two percent black. Supreme Court recognized that the ultimate issue in Batson was whether the state discriminated in the jury selection process. In discussing the circumstances that may give rise to an inference of purposeful discrimination the court stated that they could not "attribute to chance the absence of black citizens on a particular jury array where the selection mechanism is subject to abuse." Id. at 1723 (emphasis added). In providing reasons for exclusions the state must demonstrate that "permissible racially neutral selection criteria and procedures have...

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31 cases
  • State v. Parker
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • July 21, 1992
    ...decisive reliance upon the presence of African-Americans on the defendant's jury, State v. Burgess, 800 S.W.2d at 747, State v. Crump, 747 S.W.2d 193, 196 (Mo.App.1988), or the state's failure to use all of its strikes to remove African-American venirepersons, State v. Griffin, 756 S.W.2d 4......
  • State v. Williams
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • January 2, 1990
    ...den. --- U.S. ----, 109 S.Ct. 3155, 104 L.Ed.2d 1019 (1989); State v. Finch, 758 S.W.2d 166, 168 (Mo.App.1988). In State v. Crump, 747 S.W.2d 193, 196 (Mo.App.1988), this court held a black defendant "cannot complain that he was denied equal protection of the law when he is tried by a jury ......
  • State v. Vinson
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 26, 1992
    ...representation it's sufficient. (Tr. 159-160). Apparently, the trial court's last statement was a reference to State v. Crump, 747 S.W.2d 193 (Mo.App.1988), and State v. Vincent, 755 S.W.2d 400 (Mo.App.1988), which held that a black defendant could not make a prima facie case of purposeful ......
  • State v. Andrews
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • April 11, 1989
    ...by a jury with substantial black representation as long as the motive is not to strike a venireperson because of race. State v. Crump, 747 S.W.2d 193, 195-96 (Mo.App.1988). It has also been held that where jurors might identify with defendant or his family, there is no automatic reversal or......
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