Participants in the criminal justice system are as prone to issues of implicit bias as any other American–not just members of juries, but also district attorneys and judges at every level. As the National Center for State Courts has acknowledged, “public skepticism that racial and ethnic minorities receive consistently fair and equal treatment in American courts remains widespread.” Yet the Supreme Court, in McCleskey v. Kemp, erected the intent standard as a steep hurdle in the way of those who challenge racial disparities in the criminal justice system. These disparities have resulted in the mass incarceration of persons of color.
Furthermore, formerly incarcerated individuals, who are disproportionately persons of color, are denied equal access to employment and educational opportunities, public services and the right to vote. To ensure that all citizens get their fair day in court, EJS is actively engaged in efforts to reduce disparities in sentencing, eliminate the death penalty, train members of the judiciary in techniques to combat implicit bias, fight unfair use of prosecutorial discretion, and ensure that jury pools contain a representative cross-section of the community so that defendants truly have a trial by a jury of their peers.
Examples of our work on criminal justice:
- Amicus brief to the 9th Circuit related to implicit bias and the exclusion of Black jurors (Robert McDaniels v. Richard Kirkland)
- Washington State Supreme Court cites law review article by EJS on implicit bias (Washington v. Saintcalle)
- Amicus brief related to race-based prison lockdowns (In re Randolph A. Haro)
- YES ON 34 Campaign to Replace the Death Penalty
- Letter to San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee Regarding Opposing Stop and Frisk Policy
- All of Us or None, et al. v. Bowen, et al.
- Farrakhan v. Gregoire