1932

Abstract

This review collects initiatives and legal decisions designed to mitigate discrimination in pretrial decision making, jury selection, jury unanimity, and jury deliberations. It also reviews initiatives to interrupt implicit racial biases. Among these, Washington's new rule for jury selection stands alone in treating racism as the product of both individual actors’ decisions and long-standing legal structures. Washington's rule shows the limits of recent US Supreme Court decisions addressing discrimination in cases with unusual and clearly problematic facts. The court presents these cases as rare remediable aberrations, ignoring the well-documented history of racism in jury selection. The final section juxtaposes limited reforms with the contemporary prison abolitionist movement to illuminate boundaries of incremental reforms. Reforms must reflect cognizance of the extent to which racism exists at multiple levels. Reforms that do not are less likely to make change, because they are either narrow in scope or focused on discrimination by individuals.

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2020-10-13
2024-06-25
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