First Challenge in George Floyd Murder Trial: Finding an Impartial Jury

In the Rodney King case in Los Angeles in the early 1990s, four police officers captured in a video beating Mr. King were exposed to violent riots after their trial was moved primarily to the white suburbs of Simi Valley. , Acquitted. At about the same time in Minneapolis, Protests rocked the next city A pure white grand jury’s decision not to prosecute Dan May, a white officer who shot a black teenager deadly behind him.

According to state court administration statistics, Minneapolis was approximately 64% white and 20% black, and the county’s Hennepin jury pool was 80% white and 8% black in fiscal 2020. This difference reflects the fact that counties are whiter than cities and potential black juries tend to be slightly underestimated in the pool.

According to experts, jury diversity is important for two reasons. Research shows that just as the performance of diverse businesses and institutions improves, juries also benefit from a variety of perspectives. And if the jury lacks racial diversity, the verdict may not be considered justified.

Paul Butler, a former prosecutor and professor at the Georgetown School of Law, asked if the jury candidate agreed with a series of race and police statements, but the statement was objective. Expressed concern that it could be used to disqualify people of color, even if it is true—for example, “Prosecutors in Minneapolis are likely to respond vigorously. When confronting a black suspect Than when dealing with white suspects. “

However, defense lawyer Herbert said a private poll conducted prior to the Van Dyck trial showed that the majority of black residents were predisposed to conviction. “In these police cases of white police officers and black victims, for many reasons it is virtually impossible to find a significant number of blacks who are not prejudiced about the case. Perhaps in the past. “

On the other hand, according to legal experts, too many white juries can build up decks in support of defense. Because people tend not to have a natural sympathy for whites with someone of a different race (Mr. Floyd in this case). People tend to support law enforcement agencies.

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