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Full-Text Articles in Law and Race

Performing Discretion Or Performing Discrimination: Race, Ritual, And Peremptory Challenges In Capital Jury Selection, Melynda J. Price Jan 2009

Performing Discretion Or Performing Discrimination: Race, Ritual, And Peremptory Challenges In Capital Jury Selection, Melynda J. Price

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Research shows the mere presence of Blacks on capital juries-- on the rare occasions they are seated--can mean the difference between life and death. Peremptory challenges are the primary method to remove these pivotal participants. Batson v. Kentucky developed hearings as an immediate remedy for the unconstitutional removal of jurors through racially motivated peremptory challenges. These proceedings have become rituals that sanction continued bias in the jury selection process and ultimately affect the outcome of capital trials. This Article deconstructs the role of the Batson ritual in legitimating the removal of African American jurors. These perfunctory hearings fail to meaningfully ...


Poll Workers, Election Administration, And The Problem Of Implicit Bias, Antony Page, Michael J. Pitts Jan 2009

Poll Workers, Election Administration, And The Problem Of Implicit Bias, Antony Page, Michael J. Pitts

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

Racial bias in election administration-more specifically, in the interaction between poll workers and voters at a polling place on election day-may be implicit, or unconscious. Indeed, the operation of a polling place may present an "optimal" setting for unconscious racial bias. Poll workers sometimes have legal discretion to decide whether or not a prospective voter gets to cast a ballot, and they operate in an environment where they may have to make quick decisions, based on little information, with few concrete incentives for accuracy, and with little opportunity to learn from their errors. Even where the letter of the law ...