Reasoning that one who opposes the death penalty may deny the state an impartial trial, most American jurisdictions sustain a challenge for cause to a prospective juror with such scruples. Recent decisions, attempting to ensure that the jury truly represents a "cross-section of the community," have, however, suggested that due process may be denied when an identifiable class of the community is summarily excluded from the jury cross-section. The legitimacy of this theory may well be tested in the Supreme Court this term, as two cases raise the question whether capital punishment objectors are such a class. This comment seeks to assess the validity of the due process approach in the context of traditional justifications for the challenge to the capital punishment objector.
Jury Challenges, Capital Punishment, and Labat v. Bennett: A Reconciliation,
1968 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol17/iss2/3