CrimProf Blog

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

Saturday, December 16, 2017

"It's still too easy to push blacks, minorities off of juries"

Jeffrey Bellin (William & Mary) has this piece at USA Today. In part:

The ruling in Connecticut v. Holmes — the appeal of a Connecticut murder case that ultimately landed a black man in prison after a potential African-American juror was eliminated — should alarm anyone who cares about democracy.

During jury selection in the original case, "W.T.," who was African American and being interviewed by both the prosecution and the defense as a potential juror, expressed concerns about law enforcement in answer to questions posed by the prosecutor.

. . .

But W.T. also emphasized that he would follow the law and "judge (the case) by the facts."

Still, the prosecutor eliminated W.T. The state explained that the elimination was "race-neutral" and expressed concern about the fact that W.T.'s family members "have been convicted and have served time. ... If we had a Caucasian who was in the same situation," they would also have eliminated him from the jury, the state said.

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The right to a jury trial is that of the defendant. Not that of the juror. The right to vote in an election is different from the right (it is not a right) to sit on a jury.

Posted by: Liberty Second | Dec 20, 2017 7:30:22 PM

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