As illustrated by the recent Los Angeles riots, communities perceive bias in the judicial system when minorities are underrepresented on juries. Although the Supreme Court of the United States has attempted to reduce unwarranted removal of minorities from jury panels, the Batson decision offers no solution when minorities are not included on the original source list. The inclusion of more minorities on jury pools, therefore, must be the first step to change how the community perceives fairness in the judicial system. Random selection by computer is an unbiased tool to achieve representativeness in jury pools. Success of random selection, however, is contingent on the source lists. If inclusive lists comprised of voter registration lists and supplemental lists are not used, the perception of unfairness will become a reality. This article encourages each jurisdiction to examine the number of minorities participating in its jury pools, and proposes effective methods to increase minorities on juries by limiting excusals for jurors and employing a two stage random selection method.
Jury Source Lists and the Community's Need to Achieve Racial Balance on the Jury,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol33/iss1/4