The Supreme Court takes up the problem of racial bias in jury selection.

The Challenge of Making Jury Selection Colorblind

The Challenge of Making Jury Selection Colorblind

Law and the Supreme Court justices who interpret it.
Oct. 31 2015 6:07 AM

Amicus: Strike Zone

When black jurors are removed from the pool, how do we know that it’s not because of their race?

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Listen to Episode 29 of Slate’s Amicus:

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Three decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Batson v. Kentucky that race cannot be a determining factor in the process of jury selection. But because it’s so difficult to know what is really motivating prosecutors and defense attorneys to strike potential members of a jury pool, Batson has proven very hard to enforce.

This week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Foster v. Chatman, a case in which the paper trail strongly suggests that race was a factor in the dismissal of potential jurors. Dahlia discusses the case and its implications with Stephen Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights and lead counsel for the convicted murderer at the center of Foster. She also speaks with Glenn Ivey, one of the former prosecutors who have submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Foster.

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Please let us know what you think of Amicus. Our email is amicus@slate.com.

Podcast production by Tony Field.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast Amicus.