In a courtroom in San Francisco’s Hall of Justice, 102 prospective jurors squeezed into worn wooden seats, taking care to avoid the broken ones. They represented the mix of ages, races, sexual orientations and income levels that typifies their melting-pot city.
But another reflection of San Francisco stood out: Only four were black.
This pool, assembled last month, wasn’t unusual. San Francisco has never laid out the welcome mat for African-Americans.
“It’s not uncommon that you’ll walk into a felony trial with an African American client and turn around and see anywhere from zero to maybe three African Americans in the whole jury pool,” said San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Manohar Raju, who manages the office’s felony unit.
“The chances of someone of the same race as your client getting onto the jury is pretty small,” he said, “which is a problem in terms of the jury’s ability to understand your client’s reality.”
Enjoy your Police State.
Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle