Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Juries Not As Racially Diverse As The Communities From Which They Are Drawn, Study Finds

Date:
December 7, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Results reveal that there is a wide range of factors that conspire to prevent juries from being as racially diverse as the communities they represent.

A new review of the literature in the journal Social Issues and Policy Review examines obstacles that prevent diversity on juries and the implications this has on jury performance. Results reveal that there are a wide range of factors that conspire to prevent juries from being as racially diverse as the communities they represent.

Related Articles


Samuel R. Sommers, Ph.D., of the Department of Psychology at Tufts University shows how racial bias in the legal system is not an outdated or obsolete concern, and race still influences many processes.

In his article, Sommers notes how a county in the U.S. has a sizeable number of African-American citizens. Across various trials, not a single jury had enough black jurors to indicate a jury composition representative of the more general racial demographics. The facts describe Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, just prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Various reasons exist why juries are often less diverse than the surrounding communities. Members of racial minority groups are often relatively underrepresented when it comes to driver’s licenses and voter registration, both of which are lists often used to select people for jury duty.

Even when a diverse group of people shows up for jury duty, lawyers often consider race in deciding whom to challenge during jury selection. Prosecutors are often inclined to remove minority jurors from the panel because of expectations that such individuals are less likely to vote guilty in a case, even though the U.S. Supreme Court prohibits them from excluding jurors based on race.

A legal system with non-diverse juries is problematic. “There are multiple consequences of having juries that are not diverse,” Sommers concludes. “Community members begin to lose confidence in the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system, as it is difficult to have faith in a legal system when you never see anyone who looks like you making the important decisions. Furthermore, in some instances we actually see more thorough decision-making processes on diverse juries.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Samuel R. Sommers. Determinants and Consequences of Jury Racial Diversity: Empirical Findings, Implications, and Directions for Future Research. Social Issues and Policy Review, 2008; 2 (1): 65 DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-2409.2008.00011.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Juries Not As Racially Diverse As The Communities From Which They Are Drawn, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203184641.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, December 7). Juries Not As Racially Diverse As The Communities From Which They Are Drawn, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203184641.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Juries Not As Racially Diverse As The Communities From Which They Are Drawn, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203184641.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the cameras will be distributed starting Jan. 1. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins