Williams v. Illinois Dixon v. Illinois Yates v. Illinois, No. 83-5785

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMARSHALL
Citation80 L.Ed.2d 836,466 U.S. 981,104 S.Ct. 2364
Decision Date25 June 1984
Docket NumberNo. 83-5785,No. 83-6199,No. 83-5966
PartiesHernando WILLIAMS v. ILLINOIS. Wendell Byron DIXON v. ILLINOIS. Lonnie YATES v. ILLINOIS. Rehearing Denied

466 U.S. 981
104 S.Ct. 2364
80 L.Ed.2d 836
Hernando WILLIAMS

v.

ILLINOIS. Wendell Byron DIXON v. ILLINOIS. Lonnie YATES v. ILLINOIS.

No. 83-5785.
No. 83-5966.
No. 83-6199.

Supreme Court of the United States

Rehearing Denied June 25, 1984.
May 14, 1984.

On petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Illinois.

On petition for writ of certiorari to the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District.

On petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Illinois.

The petitions for writs of certiorari are denied.

Justice MARSHALL, with whom Justice BRENNAN joins, dissenting.

Page 981-Continued.

Adhering to my view that the death penalty is under all circumstances cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, I would vacate the judgments of the Supreme Court of Illinois and the Appellate Court of Illinois insofar as they left undisturbed the death sentences imposed in these three cases. Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 231, 96 S.Ct. 2909, 2973, 49 L.Ed.2d 859 (1976) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting). However, even if I believed that capital punishment were constitutional under certain circumstances, I would vote to grant these petitions because they present a substantial constitutional challenge to the Illinois state's attorneys' practice of using peremptory challenges to exclude Negro jurors from participating in capital cases.

Hernando Williams, Wendell Dixon, and Lonnie Yates are Negroes. In unrelated indictments, the people of Illinois charged each of these men with serious felonies, punishable by death under Illinois law. Each was tried by jury, and each now claims that the prosecution violated the Federal Constitution by using peremptory challenges to remove Negroes from the jury venire.1 In petitioner Dixon's case, 20% of the jury venire were Negroes. The prosecution used five of seven peremptory challenges to exclude the Negro members from the venire. An all-white jury then convicted Dixon and sentenced him to death. In petitioner Williams' case, 22% of the venire were Negroes. The prosecution used 11 of its 20 peremptory challenges to exclude Negroes, and an all-white jury sentenced Williams to death. In petitioner Yates' case, the record does not indicate what percentage of the

Page 982

venire were Negroes, but the record does show that the State used 13 of 16 peremptory challenges to remove Negroes from the venire. The jury that convicted Yates and sentenced him to death included a single Negro.

The claim raised in these petitions is distressingly familiar. Whenever a Negro defendant is charged with a capital offense, there is a substantial chance that the prosecution will employ its peremptory challenges to remove Negroes and other minorities from the jury panel. See Gilliard v. Mississippi, 464 U.S. 867, 867-868, and n. 3, 104 S.Ct. 40, 43 and n. 3, 78 L.Ed.2d 179 (1983) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting) (listing cases in 19 different jurisdictions raising the issue since 1979). Illinois provides a striking, but by no means isolated, illustration of the dimensions of the problem. Since 1959, the Supreme Court of Illinois has reviewed at least 33 cases in which criminal defendants have alleged prosecutorial misuse of peremptory challenges to exclude Negro jurors. See People v. Payne, 99 Ill.2d...

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100 practice notes
  • Williams v. Chrans, No. 87 C 02084.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • July 5, 1990
    ...a detailed confession. In People v. Williams, 97 Ill.2d 252, 262-64, 73 Ill.Dec. 360, 364-65, 454 N.E.2d 220, 224-25 (1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 981, 104 S.Ct. 2364, 80 L.Ed.2d 836 (1984), the Illinois Supreme Court summarized the events as stated by Williams and corroborated at the capi......
  • State v. Belton, No. 693A84
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • August 29, 1986
    ...v. State, 248 Ga. 138, 281 S.E.2d 599 (1981); People v. Williams, 97 Ill.2d 252, 73 Ill.Dec. 360, 454 N.E.2d 220 (1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 981, 104 S.Ct. 2364, 80 L.Ed.2d 836, reh'g denied, 467 U.S. 1268, 104 S.Ct. 3563, 82 L.Ed.2d 864 (1984); State v. Williams, 458 So.2d 1315 (La.App.......
  • McCray v. Abrams, No. 1272
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 4, 1984
    ...181 (1984); People v. Williams, 97 Ill.2d 252, 73 Ill.Dec. 360, 372-73, 454 N.E.2d 220, 232-33 (1983), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 104 S.Ct. 2364, 80 L.Ed.2d 836 (1984); People v. McCray, 57 N.Y.2d at 545, 457 N.Y.S.2d at 442-43, 443 N.E.2d at 916-17. See also Gilliard v. Mississippi, --- ......
  • Grigsby v. Mabry, No. 83-2113
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • March 18, 1985
    ...it deems necessary. See Swain v. Alabama, 380 U.S. 202, 85 S.Ct. 824, 13 L.Ed.2d 759 (1965); but see Williams v. Illinois, --- U.S. ----, 104 S.Ct. 2364, 80 L.Ed.2d 836 (1984) (Marshall, J., dissenting); Gilliard v. Mississippi, --- U.S. ----, 104 S.Ct. 40, 78 L.Ed.2d 179 (1983) (Marshall, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
100 cases
  • Williams v. Chrans, No. 87 C 02084.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • July 5, 1990
    ...a detailed confession. In People v. Williams, 97 Ill.2d 252, 262-64, 73 Ill.Dec. 360, 364-65, 454 N.E.2d 220, 224-25 (1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 981, 104 S.Ct. 2364, 80 L.Ed.2d 836 (1984), the Illinois Supreme Court summarized the events as stated by Williams and corroborated at the capi......
  • State v. Belton, No. 693A84
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • August 29, 1986
    ...v. State, 248 Ga. 138, 281 S.E.2d 599 (1981); People v. Williams, 97 Ill.2d 252, 73 Ill.Dec. 360, 454 N.E.2d 220 (1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 981, 104 S.Ct. 2364, 80 L.Ed.2d 836, reh'g denied, 467 U.S. 1268, 104 S.Ct. 3563, 82 L.Ed.2d 864 (1984); State v. Williams, 458 So.2d 1315 (La.App.......
  • McCray v. Abrams, No. 1272
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • December 4, 1984
    ...181 (1984); People v. Williams, 97 Ill.2d 252, 73 Ill.Dec. 360, 372-73, 454 N.E.2d 220, 232-33 (1983), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 104 S.Ct. 2364, 80 L.Ed.2d 836 (1984); People v. McCray, 57 N.Y.2d at 545, 457 N.Y.S.2d at 442-43, 443 N.E.2d at 916-17. See also Gilliard v. Mississippi, --- ......
  • Grigsby v. Mabry, No. 83-2113
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • March 18, 1985
    ...it deems necessary. See Swain v. Alabama, 380 U.S. 202, 85 S.Ct. 824, 13 L.Ed.2d 759 (1965); but see Williams v. Illinois, --- U.S. ----, 104 S.Ct. 2364, 80 L.Ed.2d 836 (1984) (Marshall, J., dissenting); Gilliard v. Mississippi, --- U.S. ----, 104 S.Ct. 40, 78 L.Ed.2d 179 (1983) (Marshall, ......
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