Necessary Actions for Party Objecting to Other Side's Use of Peremptory Challenge on Racial Grounds
In Melbourne v. State, 679 So. 2d 759 (Fla. 1996), the Court explained that a party objecting to the other side's use of a peremptory challenge on racial grounds must:
(1) make a timely objection on that basis;
(2) show that the venireperson is a member of a distinct racial group;
(3) request that the court ask the striking party its reason for the strike.
The burden then shifts to the proponent of the strike to present a race-neutral explanation.
If the explanation is facially race-neutral and the court believes that the explanation is not a pretext, the strike will be sustained.
But even if the procedure is followed precisely, the issue is not preserved for appellate review if the party objecting to the challenge fails to renew the objection before the jury is sworn. See Franqui v. State, 699 So. 2d 1332, 1334 (Fla. 1997); Joiner v. State, 618 So. 2d 174 (Fla. 1993).
By not renewing the objection prior to the jury being sworn, it is presumed that the objecting party abandoned any prior objection he or she may have had and was satisfied with the selected jury. See Joiner, 618 So. 2d at 176 ("Counsel's action in accepting the jury led to a reasonable assumption that he had abandoned, for whatever reason, his earlier objection.
It is reasonable to conclude that events occurring subsequent to his objection caused him to be satisfied with the jury about to be sworn.").