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Monday, November 07, 2005

Law - Juries in Jefferson County, Kentucky the focus of a LCJ series

"Jury not of their peers: In Jefferson County, people who live in mainly African-American areas are less likely to serve than those from mostly white areas, a Courier-Journal analysis found." That is the overall headline to a series of stories in the Louisville Courier Journal this month. In "About this project" the paper writes:

The Courier-Journal obtained electronic records on 34,000 people who were summoned for jury duty in Jefferson County from May 1, 2004 to May 30, 2005. For privacy reasons, the courts wouldn't release the names or addresses of those summoned for jury duty — only the ZIP codes in which they lived.

The information included whether each person summoned was in the jury pool, served on a trial and was paid for jury service.

The courts also provided information on how many jury summonses went undelivered and how many people were excused from jury service in each ZIP code. * * *

The Courier-Journal's computer-assisted reporting director, Mark Schaver, compared the rate at which people were summoned for jury duty in each ZIP code and found it roughly was the same .

The newspaper then looked at the rate s at which people ended up in the jury pool, served on juries and were paid in 28 ZIP codes where half or more of the residents are white and compared them with the rates for the five ZIP codes where at least half of residents a re black.

The newspaper also compared the rates for people in the five wealthiest ZIP codes with the rates for people in the five poorest ZIP codes, and the rates for people in the five most-educated ZIP codes with the rates for people in the five least-educated ZIP codes.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 7, 2005 11:00 AM
Posted to General Law Related