Stranger Things: Batson Challenges INN The Upside Down
It had been a long time coming for prosecutors in Hawkins County to finally bring charges against a monster from the Upside Down for the death and destruction he has caused. This monster, named Vecna, has been terrorizing the town of Hawkins. Now he must pay! Attempted murder charges were brought against him in Hawkins County Court, which follows United States Federal Law. Even the most savage of monsters is entitled to due process and a fair trial, including a jury of his peers--monsters or “Upside Downers”--however scary they may be. So, what happens when the prosecutor, fearing another Upside Downer sitting as a juror might vote in favor of Vecna out of kinship, uses a peremptory challenge to remove another Upside Downer from the jury? Vecna’s attorney and protector of the people, an all-powerful being in the form of a girl named “Eleven,” has the right to challenge this conduct! This program focused on the mechanics of a Batson challenge (taken from the U.S. Supreme Court case, Batson v. Kentucky, which provides a three-step process for determining when a peremptory strike during jury selection is discriminatory) by using the backdrop of hit Netflix show Stranger Things. Presenters examined the reasons the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Batson claim in Foster v. Chatman, 578 U.S. 488 (2016). In Foster, the Court found that the prosecutors were motivated in substantial part by race when they struck two black prospective jurors from the jury.

Presented By: The Earl Warren American Inn of Court (30287)

Presented: October, 2022

Topic Areas: Professionalism, Jury Selection, Voir Dire, Supreme Court Cases

Materials: Script, Citations of Law, PowerPoint Presentation and Video

CLE Approval: Approved

State: California

Hours: 1.0

2023 National Program Awards Placement: Fifth Place

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