PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS. (Jefferson Circuit Court, CV-92-790, Court of Civil Appeals, AV92000287). William A. Jackson, Trial Judge.
Released for Publication April 22, 1995.
Maddox, Almon, Houston, Steagall, and Ingram, JJ., concur. Cook, J., Dissents.
WRIT QUASHED AS IMPROVIDENTLY GRANTED.
Maddox, Almon, Houston, Steagall, and Ingram, JJ., concur.
COOK, JUSTICE (dissenting).
I respectfully Dissent from the Court's order quashing Arnold Shiland's petition for certiorari review of the judgment of the Court of Civil Appeals affirming the judgment of the trial court. In my view, Shiland presents two compelling grounds for a new trial notwithstanding the fact that the jury returned a verdict in his favor.
On December 6, 1991, Shiland was injured in an automobile accident; as a result he sued William Yancey. During jury selection for the trial, Yancey's attorney used five of six peremptory challenges to remove black veniremembers from the jury. Shiland timely moved to quash the jury panel, which contained five black jurors, on the ground that the defendant's use of three of his peremptory strikes violated the principles expressed in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 90 L. Ed. 2d 69, 106 S. Ct. 1712 (1986), and the Constitution and laws of Alabama, which principles forbid jury selection based on racial considerations. After a hearing, at which Yancey's attorney offered explanations for his peremptory strikes, the trial court overruled Shiland's motion and the trial proceeded.
During Yancey's cross-examination of Shiland in the trial that followed, Yancey's attorney asked: "You still go to temple to worship like you always have?" Shiland answered the question in the affirmative, without objection. The jury returned a verdict in Shiland's favor for $2065.
Subsequently, however, Shiland sought a new trial, contending that Yancey's "temple" question had infected the jury with the irrelevant issue of his religion. As an additional ground for a new trial, Shiland reiterated his contention that the jury had been unconstitutionally selected on the basis of race.
The trial court denied Shiland's motion, and a majority of the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the judgment. We granted certiorari review to consider whether Shiland is entitled to a new trial because of (1) Yancey's use of peremptory strikes to eliminate black veniremembers from the jury, or (2) Yancey's question regarding Shiland's place ...