Opinion: A jury pool's race can deny justice
Even the inclusion of one black person in the jury pool had a large impact on conviction rates of black people, according to the authors' study.
May 23rd, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Opinion: A jury pool's race can deny justice

Editor's note: Shamena Anwar is an assistant professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University; Patrick Bayer is a professor of economics at Duke University; and Randi Hjalmarsson is an associate professor in economics at Queen Mary, University of London.

By Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer and Randi Hjalmarsson, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The Sixth Amendment right to a trial by an impartial jury is the bedrock of our criminal justice system. Yet the promise of impartiality is called into question when defendants face juries that include few, if any, members of their race.

The small percentage of black people in the U.S. population, less than 13%, and in some cases, their systematic exclusion from juries, means that black defendants routinely face all-white juries in many states and counties.

Concerns about jury representation go hand-in-hand with the sense that the racial makeup of juries might make a big difference for conviction rates in criminal trials. Surprisingly, we know very little about this.

Read the full column

Filed under: Black in America • Race • Social justice
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Shay Foster

    The state of colored people tv is at an all-time crisis. My family and I had the chance to view the premier of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. We were shocked and embarrassed about the ignorance that was on display. I am an educator who supports the advancement of colored people not the regression of colored people. These shows carry a lot of weight in promoting the immoral acts that plague our young people who think it's okay to behave as reckless human beings. We must act to stop the madness. The plight of black people is skyrocketing due to these "reality" tv show and websites such as worldstarhiphop.com and others. If what I watched is the reality of the lives of the majority of colored people then we are in trouble. The new generation of slavery in America is fast approaching. Media outlets have to be held more accountable for their quest to get ratings by continuing to sacrifice and destroy the lives and communities of our colored people with their targeted irresponsible content. Please take a stand. The positive platform has to be bigger than the negative.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |