Increasing Number of State Supreme Courts Address Unconscious Racial Bias in Jury Selection

From the Brennan Center:

An increasing number of state high courts are working to mitigate the impact of implicit racial bias in jury selection, according to The Marshall Project.
In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court held that race discrimination in jury selection is unconstitutional in Batson v. Kentucky, and since then, prosecutors have been required to provide a “race neutral” reason for striking prospective jurors. Despite Batson, the discriminatory use of preemptive strikes has continued across the country because courts have been willing to accept almost any reason from prosecutors as race neutral, even if the result is an all-white jury.
Over the past two years, however, state supreme courts in WashingtonConnecticut, and California have taken steps beyond Batson to protect against race-based jury selection. Earlier this month, North Carolina became the latest state to strengthen protections against jury selection bias, with the state’s high court issuing a decision that trial judges are required to provide more scrutiny for allegations of racial discrimination in jury selection.

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