On Monday, October 31, 2011, ACS hosted Judging Juries: Examining Jury Engagement and Exclusion.The right to a jury trial is rooted among the Constitutionâ€™s guarantees of freedom and liberty, making jurors constitutional actors to ensure fair and impartial trials in our democracy. Over the years, the Supreme Court has fleshed out just what this right means as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. The Court has made it clear that this right requires â€śa jury of oneâ€™s peers,â€ť which means selecting potential jurors from a pool of citizens that reflect the diversity of the community.
Given the important role jurors play in carrying out the Constitutionâ€™s promise; and the Supreme Courtâ€™s instruction on what makes that promise fair and just, how do we explain the apathy that surrounds jury participation? What can be done to change societyâ€™s attitude with respect to this civic â€“ and constitutional â€“ responsibility? In the 25 years since Batson v. Kentucky, to what extent do racial, gender, and other biases continue to play a role in jury selection? How is bias in jury selection proved and remedied? This program will consider these and other questions in examining the Sixth Amendmentâ€™s right to a jury trial.
Welcome and Introductions by Caroline Fredrickson, President, American Constitution Society
Featured Address by Senior Judge Ricardo M. Urbina, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Panel Discussion featured:
- Moderator, Liliana Coronado, Deputy Federal Public Defender, Office of the Federal Public Defender; Detailee, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives
- Senior Judge Gregory E. Mize, Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Judicial Fellow, Center for Jury Studies, National Center for State Courts
- Alicia Dâ€™Addario, Senior Attorney, Equal Justice Initiative
- Andrew G. Ferguson, Assistant Professor of Law, David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia
- Scott Patterson, Stateâ€™s Attorney, Talbot County, Maryland