Supreme Court overturns conviction based on jury selection

Friday, March 27, 2015, Vol. 39, No. 13

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of child molestation in Union County because the judge in the case did not follow the rules on how to pick a jury.

The state's highest court said there was enough evidence presented at the 2009 trial to convict Dominic Frausto of aggravated sexual battery. But it found that Criminal Court Judge E. Shayne Sexton deviated so far from the prescribed jury selection process that it prejudiced the entire proceedings.

Lawyers on both sides have a limited number of challenges to say who gets to be on a jury. The court found that Sexton randomly dismissed 10 prospective jurors out of two groups of people, depriving the lawyers from making intelligent challenges.