Motley Speaker Series: Eradicating Racial Bias in Jury Selection & Jury Deliberation in CT EMS210421

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time)


Access Recording
CBA-CBF-webThe Constance Baker Motley Speaker Series on Racial Inequality is presented by the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) and its Diversity and Inclusion Committee, in collaboration and co-sponsorship with the Connecticut Bar Foundation (CBF) and James W. Cooper Fellows

About the Program

In a tumultuous year that has brought long-avoided issues of racial injustice to the fore, Connecticut is considering certain proactive steps to try to eradicate racial bias in jury selection and deliberation in both civil and criminal cases. Following the release of specific recommendations by the Jury Selection Task Force appointed by Chief Justice Robinson, this event will explore the proposals aimed at identifying and eliminating various forms of conscious and unconscious bias from jury selection and deliberation. Attendees are encouraged to review the Task Force Report and pose questions for the panelists both before and during the event.  

Panelists in this session will include Task Force chairs and participants, who will discuss: 

  • the history and inadequacies of Batson v. Kentucky challenges both theoretically and in practice
  • the case of State v. Holmes, which led to the changes being considered in Connecticut 
  • a groundbreaking Practice Book rule proposed by the Task Force to eliminate the use of peremptory challenges rooted in improper racial attitudes and practices
  • other Task Force proposals, including those relating to increasing participation in the jury system by historically underrepresented communities; enhanced record keeping of jury selection practices; improved explanations to jurors of the pitfalls of unconscious bias; and increased participation by felons and legal permanent residents who are not citizens 

If adopted, the proposed changes will substantially alter the jury selection process in Connecticut to ensure that a fair cross section of the population is serving on juries, and put our state in the forefront of those attempting to improve racial justice in our courts at a time when many question the fairness of our judicial system.  

You Will Learn

  • About the efforts that have been undertaken to eliminate racial bias in the jury selection process
  • How racial bias plays a part in the jury selection process
  • How the Jury Selection Task Force came to be
  • The recommendations the Task Force made and how they would help to eradicate racial bias in jury selection and deliberation
  • What practitioners and judges should understand about the recommendations
  • Steps you can take to learn more and help to eradicate racial bias in jury selection and deliberation

Who Should Attend

Judges, civil litigators, prosecutors, public defenders and other criminal defense attorneys, law school professors, law students, other legal professionals, and others concerned about racial bias in jury selection and deliberation.




Douglas_Lavine_sm Hon. Douglas S. Lavine (Ret.)
Connecticut Hate Crimes Advisory Council, Hartford

Richard J Colangelo Richard J. Colangelo, Jr.
Chief State’s Attorney State of Connecticut, Hartford

Christine_Rapillo Christine P. Rapillo
Connecticut Office of Chief Public Defender, Hartford

Preston Tisdale Preston Tisdale
Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder PC, Bridgeport


Omar Williams Hon. Omar A. Williams
Connecticut Superior Court, Hartford

Chase Rogers Hon. Chase T. Rogers (Ret.)
Day Pitney LLP, Hartford

CLE Credit

CT: 2.0 CLE Credits (Ethics)


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