In the U.S., death row is made up of a disproportionate number of black persons. In capital trials, black defendants often face all white juries. The deep-rooted racial discrimination in the justice system impacts jury selection because prosecutors use peremptory strikes to remove black jurors from the jury panel. As the law stands today, the Sixth Amendment guarantee of an impartial jury made up of a fair representation of the jury applies only to the pool of jurors called in for jury service, not those who are actually selected to hear the case.

This comment analyzes the Supreme Court decision, Holland v. Illinois 493 U.S. 474 (1990), which held that the Sixth Amendment does not prevent prosecutors from striking potential jurors based on their race. In doing so, the Court missed an opportunity to provide meaningful relief to black capital defendants who faced all-white juries. This comment argues for the reversal of Holland, extension of Sixth Amendment protections, and a change in the framework for questioning the use of peremptory challenges to remove black jurors.