limiting the scope of the jury: examining the exclusionary tactics
embedded into every state law is some form of jury exclusionary ruling that disbars more than 20 million people from jury service, according to a report from the Prison Policy Initiative
We go to the Prison Policy Initiative for this week's study, “Rigging the jury: How each state reduces jury diversity by excluding people with criminal records” by Ginger Jackson-Gleich.
Exclusionary jury rules greatly hinder jury diversity
One is the barrier to serve on jury with a criminal conviction
Of the roughly 19 million Americans with felony convictions in the year 2010 - an estimated 36% were Black
While the specific percentage of Latinx criminal convictions proves difficult to properly quantify since Latinx heritage has not always been collected or reported accurately within the criminal justice system.
Despite such difficulty, the Prison Policy Initiative maintains that Hispanic people are more likely to be incarcerated than non-Hispanic whites, which in turn creates overrepresentation at numerous stages of the criminal justice process
One county in Georgia, 34% of Black adults—and 63% of Black men—were excluded from juries because of criminal convictions (view here).
In NY, approximately 33% of Black men are excluded from the jury pool because of the state’s felony disqualification law.
Nationwide, approximately one-third of Black men have a felony convictions.
Reduce the scope of exclusion laws
Decriminalize and decarcerate
Address other obstacles to jury diversity
Read the whole article here.
Resources: State policy changes. News. Bureau of Prisons updates. State court changes. Prison holistic self care and protection. Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook.
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