Peremptory challenges have a long history, dating back to 1305 in England. In Swain v. Alabama, Justice Byron R. White stated, "[t]he persistence of peremptories and their extensive use demonstrate the long and widely held belief that peremptory challenge is a necessary part of trial by jury." Peremptory challenges enable litigants to exclude potential jurors "without a reason stated, without inquiry and without being subject to the court's control.", In Batson v. Kentucky, however, decided in 1986, the Supreme Court restricted the power of prosecutors to exercise peremptory challenges based solely upon race. This Note discusses the facts and holding of Edmonson, examines decisions prior to Batson, provides an overview of how lower courts handled the issue the Supreme Court resolved in Edmonson, and analyzes the implications of the decision with an emphasis on Missouri practice.

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