Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tammy S. Garland & Helen Eigenberg & Karen McGuffee
The jury selection process is one of the most important components in the American criminal justice system; however, it has been questioned whether court participants receive a fair trial under the present process. Juries have often not been representative of defendants' peers. Some argue that this reinforces group stereotypes and leads to biased verdicts and sentences, especially in cases involving race. This entry examines the controversy surrounding race and the jury selection process, paying particular attention to case law, racial bias, and scientific research. The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused is guaranteed the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury in the state in which the crime was committed. The Supreme Court has held that the purpose of the Sixth Amendment is not only to guard against governmental power exercised by overzealous prosecutors and judges but also ...