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Race in the Jury Box

Affirmative Action in Jury Selection

Hiroshi Fukurai, Richard Krooth

Publication Year: 2003

Race in the Jury Box focuses on the racially unrepresentative jury as one of the remaining barriers to racial equality and a recurring source of controversy in American life. Because members of minority groups remain underrepresented on juries, various communities have tried race-conscious jury selection, termed “affirmative jury selection.” The authors argue that affirmative jury selection can insure fairness, verdict legitimization, and public confidence in the justice system. This book offers a critical analysis and systematic examination of possible applications of race-based jury selection, examining the public perception of these measures and their constitutionality. The authors make use of court cases, their own experiences as jury consultants, and jury research, as well as statistical surveys and analysis. The work concludes with the presentation of four strategies for affirmative jury selection.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in New Directions in Crime and Justice Studies


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Title page copyright page

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pp. v-vii

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pp. ix-xv

This study reflects our own experience in tracking criminal trials. On our own account, we have found that, in almost all of the final juries that have tried criminal defendants of minority race, there has been a shocking failure to adequately represent racially and ethnically diverse communities where the alleged crimes were committed, or from the venues where the cases ...


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pp. xvii-xviii

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Chapter 1

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pp. 1-19

The fact that a minority defendant is tried by an all-white jury can be a nightmarish thought for racial and ethnic minorities.1 In reality, however, a minority defendant in most jurisdictions is often confronted by white police officers, indicted by an all-white grand jury, prosecuted by a team of all-white district attorneys, convicted by a predominantly, if not all, ...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 20-60

Race and racial identity are both real and illusionary—real because our society designates certain identities as racial ones, illusionary because there is only one human race. Dealing with such social definitions of race is often mind boggling because historically supposed racial differences have become culturally infused as a way of thinking and ...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 61-89

During the 1990s and early 2000s, some of the most serious and most controversial social assumptions and suppositions revolved around the constitutional and civil status of “races” and affirmative action programs. In the course of the ongoing battle, at least three major lines of thought emerged. ...

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Chapter 4

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pp. 90-124

From the early sixteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century, the jury de medietate linguae had been both recognized and tried in northeastern America. Over these more than three centuries, one consistent feature of the trial de medietate was that most of the criminal trials involved racial minority defendants; and perceived fairness of the jury ...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 125-148

Affirmative action in jury selection is unlike previous efforts that deliberately limited opportunities for blacks, women, and other racial and ethnic minorities for jury service. Today’s courts are attempting to establish racial and gender ratios, to set varying equilibriums, in composing juries—to explicitly increase minority representation ...

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Chapter 6

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pp. 149-175

Current laws guiding jury selection offer no affirmative mechanisms or procedural remedies to ensure the presence of members of diverse racial and social groups in the final jury. This chapter thus attempts to demonstrate that affirmative action strategies are the only viable alternative for securing such ...

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Chapter 7

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pp. 176-196

In America’s racial milieu, a single criminal trial often raises deep social questions, signifying moral and ethical feelings, as well as disparate perceptions of the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. Such was the O. J. Simpson trial and the verdict of “not guilty” that held the momentary attention of the nation and the world as one more proof that race and ethnicity are paramount ...

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Chapter 8

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pp. 197-214

In August 1991, the motorcade of the Lubavitcher Grand Rebbe Menachem Schneerson struck and killed seven-year-old Gavin Cato and injured another child, both African Americans (Kifner 1991a). Among those in the motorcade was Yosef Lifsh, a young Hassidic man, whose station wagon smashed into the children on the sidewalk. The killing of the child sparked three days of revolt ...

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Chapter 9

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pp. 215-223

Handed down from the past, class and caste, race and gender, ethnicity and attributed national origins, together play a powerful role in the formation of racial hegemony and the racial state in the United States. Despite the illogic and fallacy of the premise that the human Homo species may be neatly divided and classified by racial categories, race relations and racial designations ...

Appendix A

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pp. 224-232

Appendix B

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pp. 233-234


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pp. 235-247


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pp. 249-264


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pp. 265-270

E-ISBN-13: 9780791486252
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791458372
Print-ISBN-10: 0791458377

Page Count: 270
Illustrations: 26 tables, 1 figure
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: SUNY series in New Directions in Crime and Justice Studies
Series Editor Byline: Austin T. Turk See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 56408535
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Race in the Jury Box

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Jury selection -- United States.
  • Race discrimination -- Law and legislation -- United States.
  • Criminal procedure -- United States.
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