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A claimant under the Equal Protection Clause of U.S. Const. amend. XIV, or the corresponding component of the U.S. Const. amend. V, must establish intentional discrimination. Equal protection condemns underrepresentation of minorities on a jury only if it is the product of intentional discrimination.
Appellant civil rights plaintiff brought the present action against appellee police officers under 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983, claiming that he was arrested without cause and subjected to excessive force. The district court ruled in favor of the appellee police officers. On appeal, appellant claimed that the jury venire violated his U.S. Const. amend. V rights because potential jurors from largely black and Hispanic areas were excluded from the pool due to a computer error. He also claimed that the district court improperly excluded a tape recording of appellees, evidence that appellees allegedly brutalized other parties as part of the same incident and evidence that appellees engaged in a conspiracy of silence to cover up the incident.
The court affirmed the district court. The court found that appellee could not prove intentional discrimination, which distinguished claims under U.S. Const. amend. V, from claims brought by criminal defendants under U.S. Const. amend. VI. According to the court, appellant’s Fifth Amendment rights were not violated by the jury venire because there was no intentional exclusion of minorities. Moreover, the court held that the district court's evidentiary rulings did not effect any substantial rights of appellant pursuant to Fed. R. Evid. 103(a).