CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dallas Prosecutors and Batson

From the  "DALLAS -- As recently as 2002, Dallas County prosecutors were excluding eligible blacks from juries at more than twice the rate they turned down whites, a newspaper reported Sunday.  The issue surfaced earlier this year when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1986 murder conviction of a black man accused of killing a white motel clerk, saying the Dallas County jury that convicted Thomas Miller-El was unfairly stacked with whites.

The Supreme Court cited a manual, written in 1969 and used until at least 1980, that instructed prosecutors on how to exclude minorities from Texas juries. Justice David Souter wrote that racial discrimination in the Miller-El case was unquestionable.  Bill Hill, who took over as district attorney in 1999, said his prosecutors don't exclude jurors on the basis of race.  "The statistics may show we strike more blacks, but it's not because they're black," Hill said. "It's because for one reason or another, they (prosecutors) don't think they are going to be fair and impartial."  Blacks still served on Dallas juries in proportion to their population, the newspaper's study found, because defense attorneys excluded white jurors at three times the rate they rejected blacks.

The Dallas Morning News examined jury selection in cases from 2002, reviewing more than 6,500 juror information cards, studying transcripts of juror questioning, and analyzing lawyers' strike patterns.  It published the first part of a three-part series on jury selection Sunday.

The analysis found that prosecutors treated the responses of blacks and whites to key questions differently. A review of transcripts of juror questioning, available in 59 of the 108 cases studied, showed that:

_Juror views on rehabilitation were the most important factor in determining whom prosecutors rejected, but they excluded 79 percent of blacks who favored rehabilitation over punishment or deterrence, compared with 55 percent of whites who did.

_Prosecutors excluded 78 percent of blacks who said they or someone close to them had had contact with the criminal justice system, compared with 39 percent of whites.

_Prosecutors rejected all blacks who said they or someone close to them had had a bad experience with police or the courts, compared with 39 percent of whites who gave the same response. About 2 percent of all respondents gave that response.

More . . .  [Mark Godsey]

August 23, 2005 in Civil Rights, Evidence | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Journal: Feminist Criminology

Details and call for papers here.  [Mark Godsey]

August 23, 2005 in Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Colb on Porn and Prostitution

Findlaw column here, dealing with an escort service's discriminatory prosecution argument, based on a claim that producers of adult films are not prosecuted for prostitution, even though they pay for sexual services. [Jack Chin]

August 22, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Toledo CrimProf David Harris Debates Terror and Racial Profiling in NY Daily News

Harris_2 Regarding NY subway searches following the London bombings, Harris argues that racial profiling is actually counterproductive to homeland security.  The counterpoint by a NY city councilman is here

[Mark Godsey]

August 22, 2005 in CrimProfs, Homeland Security, Search and Seizure | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Is 3L Worth It?

Discussion at Volokh here.  [Mark Godsey]

August 21, 2005 in Teaching | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

This Week's Top 5 Crim Papers

This week's top 5 crim papers, with number of recent downloads on SSRN, are:

(1) 388 Search and Seizure: Past, Present, and Future
Orin S. Kerr,
The George Washington University Law School,
Date posted to database: July 14, 2005
Last Revised: July 14, 2005
(2) 369 Cultural Cognition and Public Policy
Dan M. Kahan, Donald Braman,
Yale Law School, Yale University - Law School,
Date posted to database: August 2, 2005
Last Revised: August 2, 2005
(3) 228 Exonerations in the United States, 1989 through 2003
Samuel R. Gross, Kristen Jacoby, Daniel J. Matheson, Nicholas Montgomery, Sujata Patil,
University of Michigan Law School, University of Michigan Law School, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Law School, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia,
Date posted to database: July 6, 2005
Last Revised: July 26, 2005
(4) 125 Broken Windows: New Evidence from New York City and a Five-City Social Experiment
Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig,
University of Chicago - Law School, Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI),
Date posted to database: June 14, 2005
Last Revised: July 3, 2005
(5) 113 Appeal Waivers and the Future of Sentencing Policy
Nancy J. King, Michael O'Neill,
Vanderbilt University School of Law, George Mason University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: August 3, 2005
Last Revised: August 10, 2005

August 21, 2005 in Weekly Top 5 SSRN Crim Downloads | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Another Posthumous Pardon

An African American woman hanged in 1945 for killing a man she said was holding her captive was pardoned last week.  This is the latest in a long line of posthumous pardons. [Jack Chin]

August 21, 2005 in News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

African American Officers Say Hair Drug Test Racially Biased

African American police officers in Boston filed suit against the BPD alleging that a drug test used by the department discriminates against them.  A number of officers tested positive for cocaine based on a hair test, but negative based on independent tests.  They claim that hair care products used by African Americans explains the discrepancy.   [Jack Chin]

August 21, 2005 in Law Enforcement | Permalink | TrackBack (0)