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03/03/95 NOVEL BEAU HODGE v. STATE

March 3, 1995

NOVEL BEAU HODGE
v.
STATE



Appeal from Jefferson Circuit Court. (CC-93-2032). James Hard, TRIAL JUDGE.

As Amended. Rule 39(k) Motion Denied May 5, 1995. Rehearing Denied May 5, 1995. Certiorari Denied June 30, 1995. Released For Publication December 14, 1995.

Cobb, Judge. All the Judges concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cobb

ON RETURN TO REMAND

COBB, JUDGE

This case was originally assigned to another Judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. It was reassigned to Judge Cobb on January 17, 1995.

On August 19, 1994, this court remanded this cause to the circuit court with directions that an evidentiary hearing be held to determine whether the appellant made a prima facie case of racial discrimination by the state in its exercise of its peremptory strikes.

On remand, the court held a hearing, and after finding that the appellant had established a prima facie case of discrimination, it required the state to give its reasons for using five of its seven strikes to remove blacks from the venire. The following reasons were given by the state:

"MS. MONTGOMERY: All right. Using the seating chart, I specified No. 28, which was C.B. My chart indicates he was a black male. The State exercised a peremptory on this particular defendant because of his being single, he was a dockworker, and he returned a verdict in favor of a defendant.

". . . .

"MS. MONTGOMERY: The next person numerically, I believe, is 44, which was a black male. It was J.C. The State exercised its peremptory challenges to J.C. because of the minor broken bone that he had received. He was a hospital employee. And he used the quirkiest expression I have ever heard in regard to a relative when asked about being a police officer. He had a cousin-in-law. I've never heard that term, and it indicated some discord to me. Particularly, I would have some police officers to testify. But those are the three reasons for J.C.

". . . .

"[MS. MONTGOMERY:] The next person was 237. It was a black female. V.P. V.P. had indicated she had never cursed and never been cursed. She had returned two not-guilty verdicts. That was the reason the State utilized that peremptory there.

"[MS. MONTGOMERY:] No. 306 was A.W. He also indicated he had never cursed or been cursed. He had had a minor broken bone, and he was a hospital employee. Those are the ...


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