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Walker v. Goldsmith
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
902 F.2d 16 (1990)
An Arizona state court jury convicted William Walker (defendant) of aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident. Walker petitioned for postconviction relief in state court, arguing that the venire pool entirely excluded people whose last names began with the letters W, X, Y, and Z (the proposed class), in violation of Walker’s Sixth Amendment right to a jury representing a fair cross section of the community and his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection. Walker argued that the proposed class constituted a distinct class, relying upon a study showing that people whose last names begin with S through Z are 50 percent more likely to develop “alphabetic neurosis” than people whose last names begin with A through R. Arizona state courts refused to recognize the proposed class as a distinct class. Walker then raised the argument in a habeas corpus petition in federal district court. After the district court summarily denied Walker’s petition, Walker appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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