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How a recent California high court decision may be a harbinger for change on the bench




A woman walks into the State of California Earl Warren building January 22, 2007 in San Francisco, California.
A woman walks into the State of California Earl Warren building January 22, 2007 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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In a decision that many are calling a watershed for California, the state’s Supreme Court last week overturned three convictions - two for attempted murder - after finding that race played a factor in the selection of jurors in these cases. 

The decision by the seven judges was unanimous.

The decision will have wide-ranging implications for how a criminal case is tried in the state. But it also points to how the California Supreme Court’s attitude toward weighing criminal cases might be changing and what role Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointees have had and are having on the court’s rulings.

Appellate attorney Kirk Jenkins, who studies the California Supreme Court, says that a recent rise in favorable rulings for criminal defendants suggests that Brown’s more liberal appointees may be causing the conservative justices to look harder at criminal cases.

Today on AirTalk, Mr. Jenkins joins Larry to talk about what the decision means for how appellate attorneys will approach jury selection moving forward and the implications this ruling has on future rulings from the California Supreme Court.

Guest:

Kirk C. Jenkins, chair of the Appellate Practice at Sedgwick LLP, a law firm with offices across the country, and author of California Supreme Court Review