What is a Batson challenge?

A Batson challenge is a challenge filed by a defense attorney that the prosecution has struck jurors in a racially discriminatory manner. When a Batson challenge is made and the defense is able to show that jurors were struck apparently on race, the prosecutor must then offer a race-neutral explanation for the decision. For example, if the prosecutor struck the lone African-American juror from the panel, the prosecutor might respond that he or she struck that juror because the person refused to make eye contact. Refusal to make eye contact likely would suffice as a sufficient, race-neutral explanation.