Fear of governmental domination prompted the founders of the United States to restrict governmental interference with individual liberties. Indeed, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to prohibit tampering with preferred freedoms. One such prohibition is that no citizen can be deprived of his life, liberty or property solely upon governmental accusations. Such deprivation can follow only after determination of guilt by a jury of the individual's peers. However, West Virginia statutorily denies paupers this fundamental right to a trial by their peers. This denial constitutes an invidious discrimination violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
Jeffrey J. Yost,
The Pauper--Short-Changed at the Jury Box,
W. Va. L. Rev.
Available at: https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/wvlr/vol74/iss4/9