Why Don't Black People Get Selected for Juries?
Juries are disproportionately white. Although it is illegal to dismiss potential jurors on the basis of their race, lawyers can give any reason they want for dismissing a juror, and they are rarely challenged during the jury selection process. And in practice blacks are much more likely to be excluded from jury service than whites are.
A new study of the jury selection process in eight southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee) by the Equal Justice Initiative found widespread racial discrimination, particularly in serious criminal cases. In one Alabama county 4 out of every 5 blacks who had qualified for jury service in capital cases were struck by prosecutors. And, according to the report, some district attorney’s offices explicitly train prosecutors to exclude minorities from jury service under false pretenses, even though it is a violation of the law.
"We've had African-American jurors excluded because they're too old at 43, because they're too young at 28, while other white jurors much older are being accepted, and other white jurors much younger are being accepted," The Equal Justice Initiative’s Bryan Stevenson told NPR. "We've had jurors excluded because they were in an interracial marriage or had a biracial son." Stevenson said that another common reason for dismissing potential black jurors—including ones with college degrees—was that they were supposedly not smart enough.
Blacks, of course, are just as qualified to serve as jurors as whites, and just as entitled to have to a voice in the legal process. And prosecutors should not be able try to use racial bias to obtain convictions of black defendants. The practice is particularly troubling in cases where the death penalty or a life sentence is at stake. But because it is hard to prove that lawyers are discriminating on the basis of race, it may be hard to stop. "The culture has tolerated this all-white jury, white prosecutor, white judge phenomenon," Stevenson says, "because that's what people have seen for decades."
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
In the face of seemingly unstoppable gun violence, Americans could stand to gain by looking to the Swiss.
- According to a recent study, the U.S. had the second highest number of gun-related deaths in 2016 after Brazil.
- Like the U.S., Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership. However, it has a considerably lower rate of deaths from gun violence.
- Though pro-gun advocates point to Switzerland as an example of how gun ownership doesn't have to correlate with mass shootings, Switzerland has very different regulations, practices, and policies related to guns than America.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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