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Race

Faculty Scholarship

Law Enforcement and Corrections

Boston University School of Law

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Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Jan 2018

Racial Character Evidence In Police Killing Cases, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is facing a twofold crisis: police killings of people of color and unaccountability for these killings in the criminal justice system. In many instances, the officers’ use of deadly force is captured on video and often appears clearly unjustified, but grand and petit juries still fail to indict and convict, leaving many baffled. This Article provides an explanation for these failures: juror reliance on “racial character evidence.” Too often, jurors consider race as evidence in criminal trials, particularly in police killing cases where the victim was a person of color. Instead of focusing on admissible evidence, jurors ...