Should racism in the jury room lead to a new trial?

posted by
October 4, 2016
The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps  
Posted in Commentary, PND Commentary

"Every American knows that, if charged with a crime, he or she has a right to 'a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.' What can a defendant do if the jury 'decides' by the impartial flip of a coin? Three centuries of common law cases suggest that the answer is 'nothing.' That's because courts usually won't allow jurors to testify about what happened behind closed doors. Next week, the Supreme Court will hear a case testing whether that rule applies even when two jurors swear the deliberations contained overt racism against the defendant. A ruling either way would have important implications for a core part of the American criminal justice system -- the right to an impartial trial by jury." (10/04/16)  

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