In 1978, petitioner Earl Allen, a black man, was indicted for murdering his girlfriend and her brother. During selection of the petit jurors at petitioner's trial, the prosecutor exercised 9 of the State's 17 peremptory challenges to strike 7 black and 2 Hispanic veniremen. Defense counsel moved to discharge the jury on the ground that the "'State's use of peremptory challenges undercut [petitioner's] right to an impartial jury selected from a cross-section of the community by systematically excluding minorities from the petit jury.'" People v. Allen. 96 Ill. App. 3d 871, 875, 422 N. E. 2d 100, 104 (1981). The trial judge denied the motion. The jury convicted petitioner on both counts, and the judge sentenced him to two concurrent prison terms of from 100 to 300 years.
Powell, L.F. Justice Powell, Per Curiam, Allen v. Hardy, 478 U.S. 255 (1986). Box 367, Harry A. Blackmun Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.