In 1875, African Americans were given the right to serve as jurors. Now, nearly 150 years later, people of color are still grossly underrepresented on jury panels across the country. In 2012, almost every criminal trial in Houston, Alabama (a county composed of nearly 30% African Americans) was heard by an all-white jury. How did this disparity between the ideal — a diverse, qualified jury — and the reality begin? The story starts with a man named James Batson, a Kentuckian accused of burglary in 1986. While the case, the crime, and even the man himself were unremarkable, the proceedings of Batson’s trial have revolutionized the way juries are created. During Batson’s voir dire, (jury selection process) all four potential African American jurors were struck from service. Batson, an African American man, was tried and convicted by an all-white jury. Resentful of the seemingly racialized treatment his jury had received, Batson appealed the decision […]
Welcome to the new home page for Juris, Duke’s Undergraduate Law Magazine. Set to launch in Spring 2017, the Juris publication will feature academic essays, case analyses, and interviews written exclusively by undergraduates. In addition to building student experience for law and graduate school, Juris will allow students to explore legal complexities across a broad range of issues through a variety of mediums, whether through already-composed coursework or independent writing. This website will be a companion for the print publication and will be updated with regularity as more writers join the staff. Expect to see new content here very soon. Until then, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to hear more about what is to come.