The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Sixth Circuit opinion continuing a decision of the federal court to grant John Bass's discovery motion in reference to the selective prosecution. Bass the defendant suspected that the government wanted a death penalty against him based on race thus was granted a motion of discovery concerning the capital charging practices of the government. The District Court settled the discovery motion and then dismissed the notice after the government stated that it would not comply with the discovery order.

Supreme Court ruled incorrectly in the united state v. bass

The rulings of the Supreme Court against the case of United States v. bass were incorrect because of various reasons: the courts in the United States charged many blacks with offenses which were death eligible twice more than they did to the whites and it is more often engaged in a plea bargains with the whites than the blacks. This is a clear indication of the discrimination of the black people thus the rulings of the case of John Bass were influenced by the fact that he belonged to the less fortunate race.

The decision of the Sixth Circuit was contrary United States v. Armstrong, 517 U. S. 456, 465, whereby the court stated that any defendant seeking discovery on any selective prosecution claim should provide some evidence of the discriminatory intent and discriminatory effect. For the evidence of the discriminatory effect, the defendant must be specific on similarly situated individuals of two differing races who were not prosecuted. The evidence of Bass was based on nationwide statistics which were not easily accounted for.

The court could not have given the defendant the motion for discovery if it had evidence of the offense that he had committed. This could not have so much influence on the ruling of the case because it would influence the other race members to committee the same offense or widen the gap between the members of the two races if the government affirms that one of them is discriminated.


The District Court dismissed the death penalty notice on Bass after granting him a motion of discovery of the information relating to the capital charges practices of the government. This ruling is considered to be incorrect because of the unfair treatment of persons based on their races; the defendant did not have efficiency evidences of the claims since he was relying on the nationwide statistics.

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