In Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968), the U.S. Supreme Court held that jurors cannot be removed merely because of general scruples against capital punishment, adding that a juror may be excluded “for cause” if it is “unmistakably clear” that he or she would automatically vote against the death penalty if sought by the prosecutor or if the juror could not be impartial in the determination of the defendant’s guilt. This holding was affirmed in Lockhart v. McCree (1986).
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