What Is the Purpose of Peremptory Challenge In Texas ?
The purpose of the peremptory challenge in Texas is to allow the accused or the State to remove a venire member without stating a reason therefor. Code Crim. Proc. art. 35.14. In Kerley v. State, 89 Tex. Crim. 199, 230 S.W. 163 (1921), the Court said of article 35.14's predecessor:
It is the privilege of accused to exclude from service one whom, in his judgment is unacceptable to him.
In conferring it, the law gives effect to the natural impulse to eliminate from the jury list not only persons who are rendered incompetent for some of the disqualifying causes named in the statute, but persons, who, by reason of politics, religion, environment, association, or appearance, or by reason of the want of information with reference to them, the accused may object to their service upon the jury to which the disposition of his life or liberty is submitted.
In other words, the law fixes the number of challenges and confers upon the accused the right to arbitrarily exercise them.