Federal suspects claim jury process is racist

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Suspects in 11 federal criminal cases pending in Vermont say the process of selecting jurors is racist so the charges against them should be dismissed.

Defense attorneys say using voter rolls to select jurors excludes minorities as potential grand jurors and trial jurors.

According to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington, the charges are unconstitutional because of racial discrimination.

Prosecutors say the jury selection process is nonbiased.

Both sides agree that if the defendants win, 13 suspects in 11 cases would have to be indicted a second time by grand jurors.

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