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implicit bias to
make jurors aware of how unconscious beliefs can play a role in decision making
(Royer, Hido and Slotnick, n.d)1
as being aware of subconscious bias may motivate them to be impartial.

3) Creating diverse juries

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There should be
efforts to create diverse juries, meaning there should be people of various
ethnicities, religions and social backgrounds. This is because the more jurors
are aware of race, religion or ethnicity being an important part of the case,
the more they want to appear unbiased and this may result in a fairer and more
impartial trial. (Royer, Hido
and Slotnick, n.d)2  For instance, the presence of nonwhites on a jury allows for more diverse
perspectives to be taken into account, and also increases awareness of
race-related concerns among the jury so that a more thorough, objective and factually
accurate discussion of the evidence is encouraged.  (Elek and Hannaford-Agor, 2014) 3

 

4) Challenge for Cause and
Peremptory Strikes

The previously
mentioned methods describe how implicit bias may be detected or reduced. Now we
come to the issue of removing jurors who have displayed implicitly biased
behaviors. Jurors who demonstrate bias may be removed from the jury pool by
attorneys in two ways: challenge for cause and peremptory strikes. (Lehmann
and Smith, 2013)4
 A
challenge is a request to remove a person from the jury, and if this request is based on a
specific reason, it is called a challenge
for cause. (Criminal.lawyers.com, n.d.) 5
This reason may be because the juror has displayed qualities of prejudice and
an inability to be impartial. Once the issue is detected, the challenge is then
debated amongst the attorneys and the judge, and if the judge rules in favor of
the strike, the potential juror is dismissed. (Lehmann and Smith,
2013)6 Attorneys can strike an unlimited
number of potential jurors for cause, as long as the judge is convinced that
the reason for disqualification is valid. (Lehmann and Smith, 2013)7  

Attorneys can
reject jurors with or without cause by using peremptory challenges. (Findlaw, n.d) 8
A peremptory
challenge is a request to dismiss a potential juror without
stating any reason, usually based on the attorney’s experience. (Criminal.lawyers.com, n.d.)9 This power can be used in two ways, one positive and
one negative. It can be used positively and allow the attorney to remove biased
jurors, or, it can be used by attorneys in order to manipulate the verdict by
removing or keeping potential jurors with or without a certain type of bias. This
brings us to one of the biggest criticisms surrounding peremptory challenges,
which started in 1986 with the case of James Kirkland Batson.

 

Attorney Powers in the Courtroom and
Manipulation of Jury Bias

James Kirkland Batson, a black man, was charged
with burglary and receipt of stolen goods. (Legal Dictionary,
n.d)10 During the jury selection, the prosecutor used
his peremptory challenges to remove 6 potential jurors, which included all 4 black
people in the jury pool. Batson’s defense attorney made a motion to Sixth Amendment
right to an impartial jury, and his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal
protection under the law. (Legal Dictionary,
n.d)11
The Fourteenth Amendment protects the accused
from being denied equal protection under the law, so any use of a peremptory
challenge on the basis of race or gender would be a violation of this law. (Terris,
2016)12
The judge, however, denied the motion and Batson was later convicted by the all-white
jury. (Legal Dictionary, n.d)13
From this case came the principle of the “Batson
Challenge”, which is an objection to the validity of a peremptory strike on the
basis that the other party used it to intentionally exclude a potential juror
based on race, ethnicity, or sex. (Ojeda and Halliburton, 2017) 14
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

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