A black man who has been on death row in California for a quarter century has been granted a new trial by a federal judge because the jury was all-white and the prosecutor dismissed the only black juror in the pool. The Worldnetdaily has a take on this that is so bizarrely out of touch with reality as to be perverse:
In California, a death-row inmate had his conviction for a horrific double murder in the late 1980s overturned. The surprising reason for the reversal wasn’t new-found evidence or poor legal counsel – it’s due to the fact that none of the jurors in the original trial were African-American.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sam Crittenden will receive a retrial after his lawyers successfully argued before a Sacramento judge that the prosecutor who tried the case demonstrated racial bias when he dismissed the lone prospective black juror from the jury pool.
Jack Cashill, who has written about the similarly racially charged George Zimmerman trial in his new book “If I Had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman,” believes Crittenden’s case demonstrates a growing demand for two separate systems of justice in America.
“As the Crittenden case suggests, we may be moving towards two separate systems of justice at the federal level, one for African-Americans and one for everyone else,” Cashill commented to WND.
Cashill is nothing short of delusional if he believes that we don’t already have two separate justice systems, one for blacks and one for whites. But it works precisely the opposite of how he absurdly thinks it does. I’ve documented this for the better part of the last decade on this blog and I won’t bother rehashing the voluminous data that supports it, but let’s look specifically at the question of whether having an all-white jury creates a bias against black defendants.
The short answer: Yes. The long answer: Hell yes. There are dozens of studies that show this to be true. Like this one:
A new study conducted by researchers at Duke University found that the racial composition of jury pools has a profound effect on the probability of a black defendant being convicted. According to the study led by Professor Patrick Bayer of Duke, juries formed from all-white jury pools in Florida convicted black defendants 16 percent more often than white defendants. In cases with no black potential jurors in the jury pool, black defendants were convicted 81 percent of the time, while white defendants were convicted 66 percent of the time. When at least one member of the jury pool was black, the conviction rates for white (73%) and black (71%) defendants were nearly identical. Professor Bayer commented, “I think this is the first strong and convincing evidence that the racial composition of the jury pool actually has a major effect on trial outcomes… Simply put, the luck of the draw on the racial composition of the jury pool has a lot to do with whether someone is convicted and that raises obvious concerns about the fairness of our criminal justice system.”
The fact is that white people are still far more likely to view blacks as inherently more likely to be criminals and that prejudice has a significant effect on their ability to remain objective when deciding whether a black defendant is guilty or not. Prosecutors know this, which is why they will go out of their way to strike black jurors from the jury pool if the defendant is black. The Equal Justice Initiative has documented the clear patterns of prosecutors doing so while offering empty pretexts for their actions. And the courts have casually allowed this to go on despite volumes of research on how strongly it biases the juries.
A separate criminal justice system for black people? We’ve had that for hundreds of years.