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9th Circuit Sets New Standards To Avoid Racial Bias In Jury Picking

Publication Date: 
May 01, 2014
Source: 
Daily Journal
Author: 
John Roemer

Professor Robert Weisberg comments on the possible consequences of an appellate decision regarding jury selection for The Daily Journal. 

Concern about racial bias in jury selection led an en banc panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday to set new standards to ensure juries represent a fair cross-section of the community.

The panel tossed the circuit's reliance on the so-called absolute disparity test in favor of a more balanced array of statistical measures to analyze defendants' jury challenges. U.S. v. Hernandez-Estrada, 2014 DJDAR 5422.

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The founder of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, Robert Weisberg, called Wednesday's ruling "a very good opinion to demonstrate the flaws of the absolute disparity test. It deserves serious attention from other courts."

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"This could precipitate Supreme Court review," Weisberg said.