American Judges Association
Addressing Nonsystematic Factors Contributing to the Underrepresentation of Minorities as Jurors
Date of this Version
Court Review, Volume 47, Issue 4, 96-101
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right of criminal defendants to “a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” An “impartial jury” requires the jury be selected from a representative cross-section of the community. But how is a fair cross-section determined? In Duren v. Missouri, the Supreme Court outlined a three-pronged test defendants must satisfy to establish a prima facie violation of the fair-cross-section requirement:
(1) that the group alleged to be excluded is a “distinctive” group in the community; (2) that the representation of this group in venires from which juries are selected is not fair and reasonable in relation to the number of such persons in the community; and (3) that this underrepresentation is due to systematic exclusion of the group in the jury-selection process.
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