Can The Racial Makeup Of A Jury Impact The Outcome Of A Trial? | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

Can The Racial Makeup Of A Jury Impact The Outcome Of A Trial?

The murder trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke kicked off Monday, and the jury that will decide his fate doesn’t match the demographics of Cook County.

The white officer fatally shot black teen Laquan McDonald in 2014.

Four years later, the jury has some diversity, but still appears to be majority white (the 12 jurors were not required to state their race).

The reporters covering the trial say the likely breakdown is seven white, three Hispanic, one Asian American, and one black.

But in a county that’s about a quarter black, that breakdown is raising some eyebrows.

Morning Shift digs into this with Stanford University law professor Barbara Babcock, an expert in criminal and civil procedure, and Alden Loury, senior editor of WBEZ’s Race, Class and Communities desk.

GUEST: Alden Loury, WBEZ’s Race, Class and Communities Editor

Barbara Babcock, professor of law at Stanford University


Prosecutors accuse Van Dyke lawyers of striking blacks from jury because of their race (Chicago Tribune)

Death Sentencing in Black and White: An Empirical Analysis of the Role of Jurors' Race and Jury Racial Composition (University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law)

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