Constitutional Law – Due Process – State Procedure for Attacking the Composition of Grand Juries

Defendant Michel, a Negro, was indicted by a grand jury for rape on February 19, 1953. On March 2, the same day that the term of the grand jury expired, he was arraigned and counsel was appointed. One week (five judicial days) later, motion was made to quash the indictment on grounds of discrimination against Negroes in impaneling the grand jury. The trial court ruled that the objection had been waived because Louisiana law requires that it be raised within three judicial days after the expiration of the term of the grand jury. The defendant was convicted, and the Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed. Defendant Poret, also a Negro, was indicted for rape on December 12, 1950, by a grand jury whose term expired in March 1951. He fled and was not returned and arraigned until October 1952. In November 1952 he moved to quash the indictment on similar grounds. The trial court ruled the objection waived and the defendant was convicted. The state supreme court affirmed. On certiorari, held, affirmed, three justices dissenting. The Louisiana rule is valid on its face and in its application. Michel v. Louisiana, 350 U.S. 91, 76 S.Ct. 158 (1955).