final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Martin
Zilber, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 16-19007
J. Martinez, Public Defender and Robert Kalter, Assistant
Public Defender, for appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Linda S. Katz, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
EMAS, C.J., and FERNANDEZ, and GORDO, JJ.
Beal appeals his conviction and sentence. Beal was initially
charged with grand theft auto, driving without a valid
driver's license, trespass of a conveyance, and careless
driving. The jury found Beal guilty of trespass of a
conveyance, as the lesser included offense of grand theft of
an automobile. The issue on appeal is whether the State's
peremptory challenge of Mr. Weiser, a white male juror, was
proper after the trial court found that white males are not a
protected class. After a review of the record and relevant
case law, we affirm that white males are part of the
protected class of "gender" and reverse and remand
this case for a new trial.
objected to the State's peremptory challenge of Mr.
Weiser, requesting a gender neutral reason. The State began
to volunteer a gender neutral explanation but was interrupted
by the trial judge, who concluded that the challenge was
improper as white men are not a protected class. The relevant
section of the transcript is provided as follows:
[PROSECUTOR]: Yeah, One moment, your Honor. State is
exercising its fourth peremptory on juror number 14.
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Judge, we ask for a gender race neutral
reason, Mr. Weiser is a white male.
THE COURT: And what class is that?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: White male class, your Honor. And this
could be based -
THE COURT: And I don't believe that's ...