School Papers

When discriminate, a bias is formed that will

When a Batson
objection is raised, a race or gender-neutral reason for the strike must be
provided in order for it to be allowed, and if such a reason is not provided,
the strike will be disallowed. (Lehmann and Smith, 2013)1 The outcome of the Batson challenge
may be a new trial. (Ojeda and Halliburton, 2017) 2

Peremptory challenges should be used to create a
less biased jury, however, as discrimination is often the basis for peremptory
challenges, the results may involve bias in some way (Terris, 2016)3
as seen in Batson’s case. When peremptory challenges are used to discriminate,
a bias is formed that will ultimately affect the jury’s verdict. (Terris, 2016)4
Attorneys have some control over the composition of juries in form of
peremptory strikes and in the freedoms given to them in extracting information
about potential jurors, such as having access to the results of questionnaires
filled in by potential jurors. (Lehmann and Smith, 2013)5  They
can thus influence trial outcomes by choosing which jurors from the jury pool
with biases (which could lead to favorable outcomes) will hear the case. Attorneys
have skills in identifying which kind of bias is needed in the jury in order
for them to win the case, which is gained through experience. Voir dire can be
used by attorneys for identifying potential jurors with an inability to be
impartial, and use this impartiality to their benefit. According to research, lawyers
are taught to identify potential jurors who are likely to hold “unfavorable
predispositions” to their side and to attempt to remove them. (Lehmann and Smith,
2013)6 They can thus use peremptory strikes to remove
the jurors with bias against their case and keep the ones with the type of bias
needed in order to win the case. Correlations may be found between the verdict
and the jury composition as both of them are affected or controlled by common
elements of attorney strategies (Lehmann and Smith, 2013)7 For example, in the case of Peña Rodriguez,
although the judge acknowledged a bias against Mexican men, the court did not
give him a new trial and Rodriguez was sentenced to probation for two years and
ordered to register as a sex offender. (Ojeda and Halliburton, 2017) 8
appeal, the Colorado Court of Appeals stated that Rodriguez’s rights were not
violated as his defense had a chance to ask jurors about racial biases during
voir dire but failed to do so. (Ojeda
and Halliburton, 2017) 9
This shows how the prosecution may have used the bias in the jury against