Norris v. Alabama

Norris v. Alabama

Argued February 15–18, 1935
Decided April 1, 1935
Full case name Norris v. Alabama

294 U.S. 587 (more)

Exclusion of blacks from a grand jury by which an African-American is indicted, or from the petit jury by which he is tried for the offense, resulting from systematic and arbitrary exclusion of blacks from the jury lists solely because of their race or color, is a denial of the equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Hughes, joined by Van Devanter, Cardozo, Brandeis, Butler, Sutherland, Roberts, Stone (McReynolds did not participate)

Norris v. Alabama, 294 U.S. 587 (1935), was one of the cases decided by the United States Supreme Court that arose out of the trial of the Scottsboro Boys. The Supreme Court held that the systematic exclusion of African Americans from jury service violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The case was a significant advance in the Supreme Court's criminal procedure jurisprudence. Building on the existing precedent of Strauder v. West Virginia (1880) and Neal v. Delaware (1882), the Supreme Court addressed an Alabama statute that was facially neutral, but held that a criminal defendant could establish a prima facie claim of discrimination by showing that a substantial number of blacks live in a community and that blacks have been excluded from serving on juries.

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