Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1104807
 
 

Footnotes (179)



 


 



Focus on Batson: Let the Cameras Roll


Mimi Samuel


Seattle University School of Law


Brooklyn Law Review, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
While the Supreme Court outlawed discrimination in jury selection over 40 years ago, both empirical studies and candid interviews show that lawyers routinely rely on characteristics such as race, gender, and religion in striking prospective jurors. In large part, this practice continues because, when challenged, attorneys proffer non-verbal factors such as facial expressions, inattentiveness, eye contact (or lack thereof), or even laughing or coughing to justify their peremptory strikes. Without a way to assess the validity of these reasons, the trial judge and then the appellate court on review, have little ability to enforce the anti-discrimination prohibition set forth in Batson v. Kentucky. To give teeth to Batson's protection against discrimination in jury selection, both trial judges and appellate courts should use videotapes of voir dire proceedings to assess the credibility of attorneys proffering neutral reasons for striking jurors, particularly when those neutral reasons are based on non-verbal factors that cannot be assessed from a written transcript. Although many appellate courts have been reluctant to rely on "videorecords" for fear of intruding on the province of the fact finder, the Batson inquiry is unique enough and important enough to warrant a departure from reliance solely on a cold, written record.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: jury, jury selection, voir dire, batson, appellate review, videotape

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: March 16, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Samuel, Mimi, Focus on Batson: Let the Cameras Roll. Brooklyn Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1104807

Contact Information

Mimi Samuel (Contact Author)
Seattle University School of Law ( email )
901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 716
Downloads: 49
Footnotes:  179

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.297 seconds