NACDL - Al-Turki v. Colorado

Al-Turki v. Colorado

Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar in support of the petition for writ of certiorari.

Brief filed: 02/08/2010

Documents

Al-Turki v. Colorado

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 09-700

Prior Decision

Decision below, Al-Turki v. People, 2009 WL 2916999 (Colo. 9/14/2009).

Argument

A state jury convicted the petitioner, a Muslim, of a number of charges arising out of alleged abuse of his live-in female housekeeper. Before the jury was sworn, a juror informed the court that he held certain views about Islam that might impair his ability to be fair and impartial. The trial court refused to excuse the juror or allow additional questioning related to his expressed bias. Brief argues that Colorado’s “clear” or “unequivocal” expression of bias standard flouts U.S. Supreme Court precedents and its refusal to acknowledge the “significant likelihood” of bias test or to allow criminal defendants to probe potential invidious prejudices makes the state an outlier.

Author(s)

Mark G. Walta, Walta, Gehring, Harms & Dingle LLC, Denver, CO.