Duke University Study Finds Racial Disparity in Convictions by All-White Juries

A new study led by researchers at Duke University finds that all-White juries convicted Black defendants significantly more often than when the defendant was White. The research examined 700 non-capital felony cases in Florida from 2000 to 2010. The results showed that when the jury pool was all White, Black defendants were convicted 81 percent of the time. When the defendant was White, the conviction rate was 66 percent.

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The study also showed that the addition of just one Black member of the jury eliminated the racial disparity. In fact, Whites were slightly more likely to be convicted than Blacks.

Lead author, Patrick Bayer, chair of the economics department at Duke, stated, “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 article was published  on the website of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. To download, click here.

Here is a video of Professor Bayer discussing the study.


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