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 changesNewsBureau of Prisons updatesState court changesPrison holistic self care and protection. Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook.

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