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The Lawyer and the Juror: Critically Examining the Rationales for Felon Jury Exclusion

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Abstract:

Thirty-one states and the federal government permanently preclude convicted felons from jury service. Lawmakers assert that such measures protect the integrity of the adjudicative process, as felons “lack the requisite probity” to serve on a jury and are “inherently biased.” However, many of the states subscribing to this practice allow felons to practice law. Thus, there exists an uncomfortable disconnect between the state’s proffered rationales for felon jury exclusion and the state’s demand that its attorneys meet a requisite level of moral character.

This paper explores this disconnect by examining two legislative schemes at work in California. Specifically, this paper considers California’s constitutional provision that requires legislation categorically expelling felons from jury service, while highlighting the State Bar of California’s individualized guidelines for admission. This research questions the validity of the state’s risk assessment as it pertains to felons, noting that the acceptable level of risk is inexplicably distinct in two linked contexts.
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Association:
Name: The Law and Society Association
URL:
http://www.lawandsociety.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p376711_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Binnall, James. "The Lawyer and the Juror: Critically Examining the Rationales for Felon Jury Exclusion" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado, May 25, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p376711_index.html>

APA Citation:

Binnall, J. M. , 2009-05-25 "The Lawyer and the Juror: Critically Examining the Rationales for Felon Jury Exclusion" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p376711_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Thirty-one states and the federal government permanently preclude convicted felons from jury service. Lawmakers assert that such measures protect the integrity of the adjudicative process, as felons “lack the requisite probity” to serve on a jury and are “inherently biased.” However, many of the states subscribing to this practice allow felons to practice law. Thus, there exists an uncomfortable disconnect between the state’s proffered rationales for felon jury exclusion and the state’s demand that its attorneys meet a requisite level of moral character.

This paper explores this disconnect by examining two legislative schemes at work in California. Specifically, this paper considers California’s constitutional provision that requires legislation categorically expelling felons from jury service, while highlighting the State Bar of California’s individualized guidelines for admission. This research questions the validity of the state’s risk assessment as it pertains to felons, noting that the acceptable level of risk is inexplicably distinct in two linked contexts.


Similar Titles:
A Jury of One's “Peers”: The Racial Impact of Felon Jury Exclusion in Georgia

Against Juror Oaths: A Jury Activist Examines a Longstanding Pernicious Practice


 
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