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Victory Against Racial Animus in the Jury Room 

March 6, 2017

Washington, DC – On news today that the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Peña-Rodriguez v. Colorado, Constitutional Accountability Center issued the following reaction: 

“The Court properly recognized today that jury verdicts must not be based on racial discrimination,” said CAC Chief Counsel Brianne Gorod, “and therefore gave district courts the latitude they need to look into jury deliberations when there are indications of racial bias that cast serious doubt on the fairness of the jury’s deliberations and verdict.”

CAC Civil Rights Director David Gans continued, “The Court affirmed the Fourteenth Amendment’s promise of equal dignity for all persons, and looked carefully at the text and history of the Amendment in doing so. In his opinion for the Court, Justice Kennedy told the story of how the framers of Fourteenth Amendment acted to check race discrimination in America’s jury system in the wake of the Civil War, relying on history that CAC provided in its brief.”

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Resources:

CAC’s “friend of the court” brief in Peña-Rodriguez v. Coloradohttp://theusconstitution.org/cases/pena-rodriguez-v-colorado-us-sup-ct

“Racial Stereotyping is the ‘Worst Thing’ for Our Criminal Justice System,” Elizabeth Wydra, Huffington Post, October 12, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-b-wydra/racial-stereotyping-is-th_b_12458080.html 

“Supreme Court’s new term: racial prejudice in the justice, electoral systems,” Brianne Gorod, The Hill, October 3, 2016: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/judicial/298911-supreme-courts-new-term-racial-prejudice-in-the-justice 

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution's text and history.

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