Wednesday, February 22, 2012

 

Good work by KSTP!



I love it when a smart reporter (like Mark Albert of Eyewitness News 5) takes the time to do an in-depth story like this one. My own comments are about 1/3 of the way in. The extended version of the interview can be seen here.

One thing that fascinated me about this worthwhile project is that it was unusual-- the state doesn't seem to regularly release statistics on such things, and I can see no reason why they shouldn't. Criminal law should be as transparent as possible, because the stakes are so high. It's too bad that it took the extended efforts of a reporter to get these figures out and make sense of them, but I am impressed that he did so.

Comments:
Interesting story, Prof. Osler. I'd be curious to see these statistics with a racial overlay. My guess is that in Hennepin County/the metro area you have a much higher incidence of white-majority juries convicting black defendants. In greater Minnesota, it's white juries acquitting white defendants.

It probably goes beyond that though. The populations in greater Minnesota are just more homogenous in many ways - income level, type of employment, life story in general - so juries are much more likely to identify with the defendant.
 
I have a 100% acquital rate with my juries in Texas since I've become a defense attorney!
 
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