Ramon Bryant, a Kent County resident, is challenging his 2002 criminal sexual conduct – 1st degree conviction. He asserts that he was denied a fair trial because the jury pool was unrepresentative. CSC -1st degree, also referred to as rape, is one of Michigan’s most serious sex crime convictions. Penalties for a rape conviction include jail time, fines and mandatory placement of your name on the sex crimes registry. After trial, Bryant was sentence of 12-35 years in jail, of which he has completed nine.
If you have been charged with any Michigan sex crime, it is important you receive a fair trial to ensure your rights and your future are protected. An experienced Michigan sex crimes trial attorney can provide critical advice and guidance at every step of the criminal process.
In this Kent County unrepresentative jury pool case, Bryant – an African-American male – asserts that he was denied a trial by his peers after an alleged computer glitch in 2001 and 20002 sent out fewer jury duty notices to those zip codes with higher minority populations. The right to a jury of your peers is guaranteed by the 6th Amendment of the Constitution. At trial, only one prospective juror was black, which is too few for adequate representation. As noted by a Bryant representative “Excluding an entire minority population from jury service does not create a fair and reasonable representation of the community.”
Last year the Michigan appeals court agreed and ruled that Bryant should receive a new trial. The court noted that whether the computer glitch was intentional or not, Bryant did not receive a representative jury.
This decision was appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, which heard argument on Tuesday.
The results of this case will potentially impact cases nationwide, with individuals from jurisdictions across the country reporting that they have been excluded from jury service based on their race.
For more information about this case or if you have been charged with a sex offense, contact the aggressive Michigan sex crimes defense attorney at Grabel & Associates for a free, immediate consultation.