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Civil Rights and Discrimination

Jury

Boston University School of Law

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Color-Blind But Not Color-Deaf: Accent Discrimination In Jury Selection, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2020

Color-Blind But Not Color-Deaf: Accent Discrimination In Jury Selection, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

Every week brings a new story about racialized linguistic discrimination. It happens in restaurants, on public transportation, and in the street. It also happens behind closed courtroom doors during jury selection. While it is universally recognized that dismissing prospective jurors because they look like racial minorities is prohibited, it is too often deemed acceptable to exclude jurors because they sound like racial minorities. The fact that accent discrimination is commonly racial, ethnic, and national origin discrimination is overlooked. This Article critically examines sociolinguistic scholarship to explain the relationship between accent, race, and racism. It argues that accent discrimination in jury …