We need diverse juries. New California law will help make that happen

Making the US criminal justice system more fair and effective requires many changes, but one big one is selecting juries that reflect the demographics of their community. To help achieve this, California governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law last week that draws jurors from income tax filers, rather than registered voters or those who have a driver’s license. 

Pulling jurors from a pool of voters and drivers excludes people of color and poorer residents who are less likely to do both than their wealthier, white counterparts. For example, 56 percent of eligible Latinos do not register to vote compared to 22 percent of eligible white people and 64 percent of people who earn less than $40,000 per year do not vote. 

Under the new law, courts will still use DMV and voter registration records to pull jurors, but they will also use income tax filing data to include a broader range of residents. Creating juries that are truly made up of a jury of one’s peers leads to more fair and just verdicts and gives all citizens on trial fair representation in the courtroom.

Solution News Source

We need diverse juries. New California law will help make that happen

Making the US criminal justice system more fair and effective requires many changes, but one big one is selecting juries that reflect the demographics of their community. To help achieve this, California governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law last week that draws jurors from income tax filers, rather than registered voters or those who have a driver’s license. 

Pulling jurors from a pool of voters and drivers excludes people of color and poorer residents who are less likely to do both than their wealthier, white counterparts. For example, 56 percent of eligible Latinos do not register to vote compared to 22 percent of eligible white people and 64 percent of people who earn less than $40,000 per year do not vote. 

Under the new law, courts will still use DMV and voter registration records to pull jurors, but they will also use income tax filing data to include a broader range of residents. Creating juries that are truly made up of a jury of one’s peers leads to more fair and just verdicts and gives all citizens on trial fair representation in the courtroom.

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