Jury Pool Underrepresentation in the Modern Era: Evidence from Federal Courts

28 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018

See all articles by Mary R. Rose

Mary R. Rose

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Sociology

Raul S. Casarez

Rice University

Carmen Gutierrez

University of Texas at Austin

Date Written: June 2018

Abstract

Despite a constitutional mandate that jury pools in the United States be representative of their communities, almost no datasets exist that can describe typical levels and patterns of jury representation. We present data from federal courts on the composition of jury pools in 52 areas, representing 764 counties. We also compare current composition estimates to those available 20 years ago from published sources. Results show that, by far, some amount of underrepresentation in jury pools is the norm, and levels of attrition fail all but one proposed method for calculating and defining “not fair and reasonable” amounts of underrepresentation. On average, expected losses range between one and three members of each minority group from jury venires of 40 to 60 people. We find no evidence that the impact of attrition on Latino communities is greater than on African‐American communities and, unlike Latinos, no indicators of African‐American representation levels show improvement over time. We discuss the challenges of addressing racial/ethnic attrition in jury pools, which is evident but, given the repeated small‐group sampling of venires, may be small in effect in any single case.

Suggested Citation

Rose, Mary R. and Casarez, Raul S. and Gutierrez, Carmen, Jury Pool Underrepresentation in the Modern Era: Evidence from Federal Courts (June 2018). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 15, Issue 2, pp. 378-405, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3173376 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12182

Mary R. Rose (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Sociology ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-232-6336 (Phone)

Raul S. Casarez

Rice University

6100 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

Carmen Gutierrez

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
108
PlumX Metrics