The Supreme Court has said that the Constitution permits trial judges to exclude from the pool of potential capital trial jurors any persons whose views on the death penalty would likely substantially impair their ability to reach an impartial verdict. This Note argues that the Court's analysis to date is incomplete, in that it omits close evaluation of potential conflicts between such exclusions and the Free Exercise Clause. The Note argues further that a court should apply strict scrutiny to any state action, such as exclusion for cause, that burdens the use of religious beliefs in the mental processes of jurors. The Note then weighs several possible government interests that might be offered to meet the test of heightened scrutiny, ultimately finding them each likely to fail. It concludes by suggesting a revised formulation of the present standard that provides more protection for the religious liberty of prospective jurors.
101 Colum. L. Rev. 569-604 (2001)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Galle, Brian, "Free Exercise Rights of Capital Jurors" (2001). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 1824.