Supreme Court Hears Case on Racial Bias in Jury Deliberations : NPR
It’s only the second week of oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court and already the justices are on their third case involving race and the criminal justice system.
Tuesday’s case tests the constitutionality of widespread rules that bar courts from examining evidence of racial bias in jury deliberations.
The federal rules of evidence, as well as rules in most states, generally bar courts from hearing juror testimony about deliberations after a trial is over. Indeed, the Supreme Court just two years ago ruled that to allow an inquiry into jury deliberations would threaten the integrity of the jury system by inhibiting jurors’ discussions.
In that 2014 decision, however, the Court specifically said there “may be some cases of juror bias so extreme” that, by definition, the right to a fair trial “has been abridged.”