Hoyt v. Florida
368 U.S. 57 (1961)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Hoyt v. Florida, 368 U.S. 57 (1961)

Hoyt v. Florida

No. 31

Argued October 19, 1961

Decided November 20, 1961

368 U.S. 57

Syllabus

Appellant, a woman, killed her husband and was convicted in a Florida state court of second-degree murder. She claimed that her trial before an all-male jury violated her rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. A Florida statute provides, in substance, that no woman shall be taken for jury service unless she volunteers for it.

Held: The Florida statute is not unconstitutional on its face or as applied in this case. Pp. 368 U. S. 58-69.

(a) The right to an impartially selected jury assured by the Fourteenth Amendment does not entitle one accused of crime to a jury tailored to the circumstances of the particular case. It requires only that the jury be indiscriminately drawn from among those in the community eligible for jury service, untrammelled by any arbitrary and systematic exclusions. Pp. 368 U. S. 58-59.

(b) The Florida statute is not unconstitutional on its face, since it is not constitutionally impermissible for a State to conclude that a woman should be relieved from jury service unless she herself determines that such service is consistent with her own special responsibilities. Pp. 368 U. S. 59-65.

(c) It cannot be said that the statute is unconstitutional as applied in this case, since there is no substantial evidence in the record that Florida has arbitrarily undertaken to exclude women from jury service. Pp. 368 U. S. 65-69.

119 So.2d 691, affirmed

Page 368 U. S. 58

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