Jones v. Georgia - 389 U.S. 24 (1967)
U.S. Supreme Court
Jones v. Georgia, 389 U.S. 24 (1967)
Jones v. Georgia
No. 174, Misc.
Decided October 16, 1967
389 U.S. 24
Petitioner appealed his murder conviction on the ground, among others, that the evidence of systematic exclusion of Negroes from grand and petit juries established a prima facie case of discrimination under Whitus v. Georgia, 385 U. S. 545. The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed because "public officers are presumed to have discharged their sworn official duties," and
"we cannot assume that the jury commissioners did not eliminate prospective jurors on the basis of their competency to serve, rather than because of racial discrimination."
Held: The State's burden to explain the "disparity between the percentage of Negroes on the tax digest and those on the venires" was not met by reliance on the stated presumptions.
Certiorari granted; 223 Ga. 157, 154 S.E.2d 228, reversed and remanded.