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Iowa court affirms process that may exclude Black jurors

Posted at 3:19 PM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-05 16:19:26-05

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected a Black man’s argument that he was denied his right to an impartial jury because of a flawed process that excluded Black people and resulted in only white jurors.

It is the second time the state’s high court heard an appeal from Kenneth Lee Lilly, who was convicted by an all-white jury in a county with a 3% Black population.

He's serving a 25-year sentence for helping a relative rob a southeast Iowa bank in 2016.

He alleged that, by using voter and driver's license registration lists to pick jury pools, Iowa is unfairly excluding a fair number of potential Black jurors.

The court says such systems are routinely used in many states and have not been proven to limit participation.

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