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December 2021

On Ahmaud Arbery, Charlottesville, and Racism in Jury Selection

December 21, 2021 – WAP attorney Lila Silverstein, known for her efforts on Batson reform, was recently interviewed for an article on systemic racial issues within jury selection.

The article, published by Truthout, provides timely and compelling insight into the ongoing racism within the jury selection process in light of recent events such as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery as well as the Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ civil trial.

An excerpt from the article:

Accusations of bias against police often figure heavily in excluding non-white jurors. Because of systemic racism throughout the U.S. criminal legal system, Black people and other people of color tend to have more unpleasant experiences with police. Because of these experiences, whichever side intends to call police to the stand tends to claim the juror of color in question cannot be impartial.


“It’s almost as if the system says, ‘Well, we get to discriminate against you again because you’ve been discriminated against in all these other areas of the system,’” says Lila Silverstein, a lawyer with the Washington Appellate Project, an organization that helps people who cannot afford legal representation.


To learn more, please read: “The Jury Selection Process Is Rigged in Favor of White Supremacy” by Laura Jedeed (truthout.org).