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United States v. Barnes

October 17, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
KHALID BARNES, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stephen C. Robinson, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER.

In this capital case, defendant Khalid Barnes*fn1 is charged with, inter alia, racketeering, narcotics distribution, and murder. Defendant currently moves for a stay in the proceedings pursuant to the Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968, 28 U.S.C. § 1861, et seq. (herein after "JSSA"), and the Sixth Amendment. Defendant's motion is denied.

I. Factual Background

The procedures for the selection of residents for jury service in the Southern District of New York is set forth in The Amended Plan for the Random Selection of Grand and Petit Jurors in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. See Declaration of Erik B. Levin, Ex. 1 (hereinafter "Jury Plan"). The Jury Plan establishes two Master Jury Wheels for the district, which are constituted every four years. The Master Jury Wheel for the Foley Square courthouse in Manhattan draws from New York, Bronx, Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties. The Northern Division wheel for the White Plains courthouse draws from Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Dutchess counties. The Master Jury Wheels are drawn from lists of registered voters in these counties. See Jury Plan, Article III.C.

At least once a year, and at times determined by the Chief Judge, the Clerk of the Court draws from the Master Jury Wheels the names of persons to whom questionnaires are sent to determine their qualification and availability for jury service. Based on their answers to these questionnaires a list of persons eligible for jury service is established as the Qualified Jury Wheel.

Defendant submits an analysis of the demographic composition of the Master and Qualified Jury Wheels for the Southern District of New York based on the current Master Jury Wheel, established in September 2005, and scheduled to be re-constituted in September 2009. See Second Declaration of Erik B. Levin, Ex. 2 (hereinafter "the Report").*fn2 Based on an analysis of the Master and Qualified Jury Wheels, as well as demographic information based on "the use of contemporary geographic analytic procedures", see The Report at 6 n.7, the Report concludes that both the Master and Qualified Jury Wheels under-represent African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. In particular, the report finds the following:

1. Non-Hispanic Whites-Americans (hereinafter "White-Americans" are 71.56% of the population in the counties comprising the Northern Division of the Southern District of New York, are 73.36% of the voting age population, are 75.56% of the Master Jury Wheel, and are 78.10% of the Qualified Jury Wheel. Report at Table 11.

2. Non-Hispanic African-Americans (hereinafter "African-Americans") are 10.66% of the population of the Northern Division counties, are 10.17% of the voting age population, are 8.92% of the Master Jury Wheel, and are 7.42% of the Qualified Jury Wheel. Id.

3. Hispanic-Americans are 12.19% of the population of the Northern Division Counties, are 11.24% of the voting age population, are 10.07% of the Master Jury Wheel, and are 8.96% of the Qualified Jury Wheel. Id.

4. White-Americans are therefore overrepresented by approximately 5% in the Qualified Jury Wheel relative to their voting age population, while African-Americans are underrepresented by 2.8% and Hispanic-Americans are underrepresented by 2.3%.*fn3 Id. at 13.

5. Calling into question the utility of using the above statistics, the Report uses alternative statistical methods, referred to as binomial probability distributions*fn4 to conclude that there is a 28.5% chance that African-Americans will be selected for a 60 person jury panel in proportion to their population, and a 29.0% chance in the case of Hispanic-Americans. Id. at 18.

6. Using similar methods, the Report concludes that the probability of under-representation in the case of African-Americans is 53.8%, and is 54.7% in the case of Hispanic-Americans. Id. at 19.

The government does not dispute the accuracy of defendant's statistical analysis, but does dispute the ...


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