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Journal ArticleDOI

Racial Discrimination and the Exercise of Peremptory Challenges

TL;DR: It is found that the prosecution was about twice as likely to strike African-Americans compared to whites in peremptory strikes in murder cases in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Abstract: This study examines whether the prosecution is racially biased in exercising peremptory strikes in 14 murder cases in Baltimore County, Maryland and a related case in Worcester County. We were able to establish the race of 499 of 545 jurors and found that the prosecution was about twice as likely to strike African-Americans compared to whites.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper found no association between race and selection for a jury, and only a modest relationship for gender and selection, and the null finding for race masks a pattern of strikes by each party: Whites were likely to be excused by the defense, and African Americans by the state.
Abstract: Some view the peremptory challenge as crucial to a fair jury selection process, whereas for others, it is a tool for invidious race or gender discrimination. Nevertheless, debates utilize little empirical data regarding uses of this challenge. Data are reported from observation of a small number of criminal trials in one, largely biracial southeastern county. In the aggregate, there was no association between race and selection for a jury, and only a modest relationship for gender and selection. However, the null finding for race masks a pattern of strikes by each party: When dismissed, Whites were likely to be excused by the defense, and African Americans by the state. A trial-by-trial analysis showed that when disparities between venire and jury composition existed, the direction usually pointed to overrepresentation of African Americans and women on juries. Despite limited generalizability, the data suggest the need for a more informed debate about the peremptory challenge's use in modern criminal trials.

49 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors analyzes peremptory challenges issued by both prosecution and defense to determine if both adversary parties agree on the proclivity of black jurors to influence a jury verdict in a given direction.

22 citations