Inclusion and the Justice System: Why Jury Diversity Matters
A community forum will focus on the racial and ethnic diversity of juries and the importance of jury service, Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen, U.S. District Court, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, Chief Federal Defender Miriam L. Siefer and Bankole Thompson, Senior Editor of the Michigan Chronicle, announced today.
The public forum, titled “Inclusion and the Justice System: Why Jury Diversity Matters” will take place Wednesday, June 27, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Wayne County Community College District Downtown Campus, Room 236.
The purpose of the forum is to educate citizens about the challenges and strategies in the Eastern District of Michigan to seat juries that represent the broad spectrum of citizens of the district and the importance of jury service. Because racial and ethnic minorities have been historically under-represented as jurors in trials held in federal and state courts in southeast Michigan, Chief Judge Rosen formed a committee, led by Judge Denise Page Hood and Judge Victoria A. Roberts, to explore new ways to increase minority participation. The committee’s work has been memorialized in a report, which includes recommendations to achieve a more diverse pool of jurors.
"We appreciate the work the court has done on this issue,” McQuade said. “Diverse representation on juries is important to public confidence in the criminal justice system,"
The forum panel will be moderated by Bankole Thompson, and will feature Judges Rosen, Roberts and Hood, as well as U.S. Attorney McQuade, Chief Federal Defender Siefer and attorney and Rev. Bertram Marks of Michigan Civil Rights Commission. The session will include a period for questions and answers from the public, and a reception will follow.
For a copy of the committee’s report visit www.mied.uscourts.gov/.