This class examines the role of the jury in capital sentencing, the selection of juries through the questioning of prospective jurors with the exclusion of those who cannot be fair and impartial, the use of peremptory strikes by the parties, the instructions to the jury and its deliberations. During jury selection, prospective jurors may be questioned about such things as their knowledge of the case from pretrial publicity, their racial attitudes, and whether their attitudes toward capital punishment would interfere with their ability to fairly consider the death penalty. “Peremptory strikes” allow both prosecutors and defense counsel to freely strike a certain number of jurors. Historically, they have been used to exclude racial minorities from jury service. Prof. Bright addresses that history and analyzes whether the Supreme Court’s decisions prohibiting such discrimination are sufficient to prevent it. Sia Sanneh of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama discusses findings by the Initiative of discrimination in the use of peremptory strikes in Alabama. Professor Marla Sandys, a jury expert and professor of criminal justice at Indiana University, discusses the findings of her studies on how jurors make life-and-death decisions.
Jury Selection (s9a)
The segment examines the law and practice of jury selection, including how jury selection is conducted, questioning of prospective jurors about sensitive issues such as racial bias, the exclusion of jurors because of their attitudes on the death penalty, and rulings by judges about whether prospective jurors can be fair and impartial.
Tagged under: Yale,Capital Punishment,Stephen Bright,Death Penalty,Race,Poverty,Disadvantage,racial disparities,injustice,jury selection
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