Defense Bias for Black Jurors Charted

AP, Aug. 23

DALLAS—Dallas County defense lawyers prefer almost any black juror over a white one, according to a newspaper investigation.

The number of blacks on juries in Dallas County approximate their proportion of the population, but primarily because defense attorneys have struck whites from the panel to cancel prosecutors’ strikes against blacks, according to a statistical analysis by the Dallas Morning News.

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Defense attorneys used 6 percent of their peremptory challenges of potential jurors, or strikes, against blacks compared with 82 percent of strikes against whites, which eliminates more than a third of white eligible jurors, according to the report.

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Defense lawyer JR Cook said that if he prefers blacks over whites, he’s trying to put some people on the jury who may understand his client’s perspective.

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