Why Is It So Easy For Prosecutors To Strike Black Jurors?

This article from the New Yorker takes a look at one way our nations past, affects our present justice system. A system that has outlawed discrimination but systematically allows for procedures that can hide a racial agenda. This is the latest battle in the quest for equality and the hardest one to win.

How do you really know if you didn't get that job because you’re black? Or if they didn't rent you that house because you’re Mexican? These are the shadows where racism thrives because it hard to know the motives behind the decisions. When it comes to juror consideration it could mean your life:


"Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Timothy Tyrone Foster, a black man sentenced to death by an all-white Georgia jury in 1987 for murdering an elderly white woman. Foster claims that the prosecution deliberately eliminated all four eligible black jurors. The state argues that race played no role in jury selection. It’s an odd argument in light of the evidence that emerged decades after Foster’s conviction: in their notes, the prosecutors highlighted the black jurors’ names in green; circled the answer “black” on the questionnaire where jurors had been asked to identify their race; labelled three black jurors “B#1,” “B#2,” and “B#3”; and identified which person to keep “if we had to pick a black juror.”

The Supreme Court may well grant Foster a new trial on the grounds that the state violated Batson v. Kentucky, a landmark 1986 case in which the Court declared it unconstitutional to strike potential jurors because of their race. But a victory for Foster won’t change the fact that, nearly thirty years later, prosecutors across the country, and especially in the South, continue to get away with intentionally striking black people from juries in trials of black defendants. The most remarkable thing about Batson, it turns out, is how easy it has been to ignore"

You can read the compete article here