•  
  •  
 

Publication Date

Summer 2010

Abstract

New York excludes all individuals who have ever been convicted of a felony from its jury pool except in the most extraordinary circumstances.This practice undermines the representativeness of juries, their inclusiveness, as well as public confidence in the courts. It leaves whole communities underrepresented in one of the foundations of democracy. It also compromises an individual’s constitutional rights. People with felony conviction histories are included in the jury pools of nearly half of United States jurisdictions, yet the effectiveness of judicial systems in those jurisdictions has not been compromised. The mechanisms for insuring that juries are competent and unbiased—voir dire, peremptory challenges and challenges for cause—all work in those jurisdictions without alienating a segment of the population from the mechanisms of civic participation. The citizens of New York deserve no less.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Juan Cartagena at Community Service Society of New York for asking the question and to Professor Ruthann Robson for her guidance in developing the answer into this Note. Thank you also to family and friends who have cheered me on through the writing process.

Included in

Law Commons

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.