Posted on April 19, 2012

Conviction Rates of Black Defendants Drop If Jury Pool Includes at Least One Black Person

NY Daily News, April 17, 2012

A Duke University-led study shows juries formed from all-white jury pools in Florida convicted black defendants 16 percent more often than white defendants.

Researchers examined more than 700 non-capital felony criminal cases in Sarasota and Lake counties from 2000-2010.

In cases with no blacks in the jury pool, blacks were convicted 81 percent of the time, and whites were convicted 66 percent of the time. When the jury pool included at least one black person, the conviction rates fell to 71 percent for black defendants, 73 percent for whites.

Senior author Patrick Bayer of Duke’s economics department says the study provides evidence that the racial composition of the jury pool actually has a major effect on trial outcomes.