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Barber v. Ponte
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
772 F.2d 996 (1985)
James Barber (defendant) was convicted in state court. Barber consistently argued that his Sixth Amendment right was violated because the venire did not adequately reflect the proportion of young adults in the community. Barber defined young adults as people aged 18 to 34. Barber presented only statistical evidence reflecting the alleged disparity. Barber’s statistics showed that young adults comprised almost 38 percent of the population in the trial county. After exhausting state court remedies, Barber petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus in federal district court. The district court denied Barber’s Sixth Amendment argument. Barber appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The First Circuit panel reversed, finding that young adults were a sufficiently cohesive group that must be adequately represented in venires. The First Circuit then decided to rehear Barber’s Sixth Amendment argument en banc.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Torruella, J.)
Dissent (Bownes, J.)
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