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6 Ways Racial Discrimination Creates An Unfair Jury Selection Process For Black People

discrimination black jurors

Elimination of Black Jurors Who ‘Appeared to Have Low Intelligence’

It’s too often that Black people are unfairly judged for physical characteristics or style decisions that people of all races tout but are only negatively perceived when presented by a Black person. An investigation by the Equal Justice Initiative found that prosecutors were striking down Black people from jury service because they “appeared to have low intelligence.” The attributes they cited for this appearance of “low intelligence” included colorful hair dyes or “walking a certain way.”


Discriminatory Use of Peremptory Strikes

A 2010 investigation by the Equal Justice Initiative found that many Southern states were illegally discriminating against potential jurors in serious criminal cases. “Racially biased use of peremptory strikes and illegal racial discrimination in jury selection remains widespread, particularly in serious criminal cases and capital cases,” the report revealed. “Hundreds of people of color called for jury service have been illegally excluded from juries after prosecutors asserted pretextual reasons to justify their removal.”

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