Racial Bias Challenges in the Legal System
Our Declaration of Independence states that all people are created equal. The New York State Unified Court System Rules of Professional Conduct state that a lawyer or law firm shall not unlawfully discriminate in the practice of law. We need to follow these principles in our legal system.
Our communities want to see change. However, studies show illegal racial discrimination in jury selection, discrimination against minorities in civil jury verdicts, racial bias in jury deliberations, and racial disparities in arrests and criminal sentencing continue to persist. In addition, implicit barriers make it difficult to enter into and advance within the field of law.
This program will review studies on racial bias in the court system and the legal community; discuss implicit bias, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias; and make recommendations going forward.
Topics to Include:
- Implicit bias, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias and how they subconsciously affect decision-making.
- Review national data and New York data (where available) on disparities in arrests, sentencing, and criminal and civil jury verdicts and discuss ways to reduce these disparities.
- Examine data on diversity in the legal profession. Discuss areas of bias that affect entry into and advancement within the legal profession. Consider recommendations to interrupt this bias.
- Explore concerns about racial bias in the court system, such as incidents of racial bias among court officers and staff, and recommendations to address these issues.
- Examine incidents of racism during jury deliberations and strategies for what can be done.
- Consider strategies for addressing race issues in voir dire questioning.
- Review studies on the racially-based use of peremptory strikes and illegal racial discrimination in jury selection. Review the procedure for challenging the strike of a potential juror based on race. Also, strategies for jury selection and proposals to address concerns in this area.
Tanya N. Blocker, Assistant General Counsel, US Director, UK Senior Manager, Employment & Labor for National Grid
André G. Travieso, Owner and Founder of Travieso Law
Don M. Tellock, Of Counsel, Burgher Gray
Betty L. Dunkum, CEO of Victory Trial Consulting
- April 30, 2021
- Online On-Demand