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North Carolina Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Key Criminal Cases Regarding Racial Discrimination in Jury Selection That Could Affect All Cases Moving Forward

CrimLaw11

In February, arguments in two extremely important criminal cases were made before the North Carolina Supreme Court; cases that involve the question of whether prosecutors illegally excluded black citizens from juries due to their race even though this is barred by federal law. If the defendants are successful, not only will they be granted new trials, but  these will be the first decisions ever made by the high court concerning the presence of racial discrimination in jury selection, which has and long affected the ability for all defendants to obtain justice and a fair trial in the state of North Carolina.

No Right To A Fair Trial

According to recent studies, African American citizens in North Carolina are struck from juries at more than twice the rate of white people, which denies all defendants the right to a fair trial because a jury is not accurately reflective of the community. Recent analysis also found that North Carolina’s courts have failed to abide by a 1986 US Supreme Court decision that bars excluding jurors for racial reasons. In fact, prosecutors in North Carolina are notorious for providing false reasons when they’re asked why they remove so many black jurors and, according to studies, they use most-to-all of their strikes to remove them. In fact, some defendants have even claimed that there are statewide training programs in place to train their prosecutors on how to provide “prepackaged reasons” as to why they removed a black juror so that they do not have to list the real reason – racism, and the courts even sometimes help them with these excuses.

North Carolina Is The Only Southern State That Has Not Overturned Convictions Due To Racial Discrimination Against Jurors

Since the 1986 US Supreme Court decision, more than 100 defendants in North Carolina have brought claims related to race discrimination in jury selection, while state appellate courts have denied every single one of these claims; even in cases where prosecutors struck between 50 and 100 percent of the black jurors. However, courts in every other southern state have overturned convictions due to racial discrimination against jurors of color.

If You Have Been Charged With A Crime In North Carolina, You Need A Defense Attorney Who Knows The System

The stakes are high when you are charged with a crime in North Carolina. It is crucial that you work with a criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight to ensure that your civil rights are protected, including during jury selection.

North Carolina criminal lawyer Rashad Hauter was a former prosecutor for the state, and knows the system from the inside out. He can provide you with the very best in legal representation to ensure that you have the best defense possible. Contact our office today to find out more about our services.

Resources:

publicnewsservice.org/2020-02-05/criminal-justice/nc-supreme-court-considers-racial-discrimination-in-jury-box/a69100-1

deathpenaltyinfo.org/news/death-row-prisoner-alleges-north-carolina-prosecutors-used-racist-training-document-to-strike-black-jurors

nacdl.org/Article/June2018-ThePersistenceofDiscrimination

/papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2994288

https://www.hauterlaw.com/the-effect-that-north-carolinas-raise-the-age-law-has-had/

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