A Stubborn Legacy: The Overwhelming Importance of Race in Jury Selection in 173 Post-Batson North Carolina Capital Trials

Author:Catherine M. Grosso - Barbara O'Brien
Position:Associate professors at the Michigan State University College of Law
Pages:1531-1559
 
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1531
A Stubborn Legacy: The Overwhelming
Importance of Race in Jury Selection in
173 Post-Batson North Carolina Capital
Trials
Catherine M. Grosso & Barbara O’Brien
I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................... 1533
II. THE STUBBORN LEGACY OF RACE IN JURY SELECTION: THE RULES
AND THE REALITY ................................................................................. 1534
A. EXPERIMENTAL AND MOCK-JURY STUDIES ........................................ 1536
B. STUDIES EXAMINING JURY SELECTION IN ACTUAL TRIALS ................. 1538
C. STUDIES ANALYZING APPELLATE DECISIONS REVIEWING BATSON
CLAIMS .......................................................................................... 1540
III. METHODOLOGY ................................................................................... 1542
A. STUDY POPULATION ....................................................................... 1542
B. DATA COLLECTION ......................................................................... 1543
C. OVERVIEW OF DATABASE DEVELOPMENT .......................................... 1543
D. RACE CODING ................................................................................ 1544
E. CODING RACE-NEUTRAL CONTROL VARIABLES (DESCRIPTIVE
INFORMATION) ............................................................................... 1547
This research was made possible through the financial support of the AJ Fletcher
Foundation, Butler Family Foundation, Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Maverick Lloyd
Foundation, Open Society Institute, Proteus Action League, Vital Projects Fund, Winston-Salem
Community Foundation, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and an anonymous funder. We also
wish to thank each of the staff attorneys who worked with us on this project, with special thanks
to Abijah Taylor and Ibrahim Ayyub for their dedication and commitment to ensuring a
complete and accurate database. Our statistical analyses were greatly aided by Deborah Kashy
and especially George Woodworth, whose assistance and advice was invaluable. We also owe a
debt to the outstanding research librarians at our John F. Schaefer Law Library, and recognize
in particular the role of the Michigan State University College of Law in hosting our jury-st udy
research team and in absorbing all indirect costs relating to this study without hesitation.
Finally, we wish to acknowledge the considerable guidance of the late David Baldus, who both
inspired and motivated us with his advice and exemplary scholarship.
 Catherine Grosso and Barbara O’Brien are ass ociate professors at the Michigan State
University College of Law.
1532 IOWA LAW REVIEW [Vol. 97:1531
F. STATEWIDE UNADJUSTED PROSECUTORIAL STRIKE PATTERNS ........... 1548
IV. THE EFFECT OF RACE AFTER CONTROLLING FOR VENIRE MEMBERS
PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS ON THE EXERCISE OF PEREMPTORY
STRIKES ................................................................................................ 1550
V. CONCLUSION ....................................................................................... 1557
APPENDIX A ......................................................................................... 1558

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