The presence of bias in the courtroom has the potential to undermine public faith in the adversarial process, distort trial outcomes, and obfuscate the search for justice. In Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado (2017), the U.S. Supreme Court held for the first time that the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments required post-verdict judicial inquiry in criminal cases where racial bias clearly served as a “significant motivating factor” in juror decision-making. Courts will nonetheless likely struggle in interpreting what constitutes a "clear statement of racial bias" and whether such bias constituted a "significant motivating factor" in a juror's verdict. This Article will examine how courts have interpreted such bias in the year following Pena-Rodriguez, while advancing a model for future judicial analysis of racial bias that is informed by psychological and sociological findings on bias and group decision-making dynamics.
Uncovering Juror Racial Bias,
Denver Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.pitt.edu/fac_articles/493
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