Before Bridges, C.j., Coleman, And Irving, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/26/97
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. BILLY JOE LANDRUM
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: JONES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY
TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: SALE OF COCAINE: SENTENCED TO SERVE A TERM OF 15 YRS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE MDOC WITH 5 YRS SUSPENDED LEAVING 10 YRS TO SERVE, & PAY A FINE OF $1000 TO BE PAID FOR THE USE & BENEFIT OF JONES COUNTY TOGETHER WITH ALL COURT COSTS
¶1. Francis Grayson was convicted in the Circuit Court of Jones County on September 26, 1997, of the sale of cocaine and was sentenced to serve a term of fifteen years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with five years suspended and a fine of $1000. Aggrieved, Grayson appeals raising the following issues taken verbatim from her brief:
I. THE COURT ERRED IN NOT QUASHING THE JURY judges, AND INMAKING GRAYSON CHOOSE FROM "SECONDS."
II. THE COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO PEREMPTORILY STRIKE TWO BLACK JURORS BASED ON A RESPONSEFROM A QUESTION NOT ASKED IN VOIR DIRE.
Finding no error to the issues raised, we affirm.
¶2. On May 13, 1997, Grayson was indicted and charged with the sale of a controlled substance pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 41-29-139(a)(1) (Rev. 1993). According to the testimony, an undercover agent went to the New Laurel Motel and purchased $40 worth of crack cocaine from Grayson.
¶3. At trial, Grayson objected to the jury panel during the beginning of voir dire claiming that the panel was "thin" as far as members of her race were concerned since an earlier trial also chose jurors from the same panel. The court overruled the objection and later stated the following for the record:
"The Court, on further observation, makes this finding that when we started this morning we had thirteen black jurors and one of the Asian. . . or a lady from the Philippines. When we started the -- when we selected that jury, five of those black people were selected to try that case, or was selected on that jury to try that case. And also I believe the Asian woman was on that jury, which leaves eight black jurors, I believe, on this jury out here to be selected today."
"So I don't find that the black representation, or composition, of this jury has been-- I don't think there is a disproportionate amount now than there was then. . . ."
The State then peremptorily struck Frederick McRae and Dorothy Pollard, and the court accepted the challenges. Grayson was ultimately convicted of the sale of cocaine and sentenced to fifteen years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections with five years suspended and fined $1000. Aggrieved, Grayson has perfected this appeal.
ARGUMENT AND DISCUSSION OF LAW
I. WHETHER THE COURT ERRED IN REFUSING TO QUASH ...