Just One Black Juror Can Reduce Chance of Conviction of Blacks and Increase Convictions of Whites
Thursday, April 26, 2012
(graphic: Art Lien, NBC News)
African-Americans facing trial in Florida need to hope for one thing: A black person on the jury.
After examining more than 700 non-capital felony criminal cases in Sarasota and Lake Counties over a 10-year period, researchers at Duke University found the presence of just one black person on a jury can significantly change the likelihood of a guilty verdict.
In cases where there were no blacks in the jury pool, blacks were convicted 81% of the time and whites were convicted 66% of the time.
But when the jury included a single black individual, the conviction rates for black defendants were nearly the same as cases involving white defendants (71% for blacks, 73% for whites).
“I think this is the first strong and convincing evidence that the racial composition of the jury pool actually has a major effect on trial outcomes,” said senior author Patrick Bayer, chairman of Duke’s Economics Department.
To Learn More:
Study: All-White Jury Pools Convict Black Defendants 16 Percent More Often Than Whites (by Steve Hartsoe, Duke Today)
The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials (by Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer and Randi Hjalmarsson, Quarterly Journal of Economics) (pdf)
African-Americans Still Excluded from Southern Juries (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
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