Juries, Implicit Bias, and the Silencing of Criminal Defendants
Criminal defendants are often silenced at trial because they fear that prosecutors will make devastating use of their prior convictions on cross-examination. Courts are complicit, since they frequently fail to do what the case law tells them to do: weigh the risk that if they allow this kind of impeachment defendants will be deterred from giving important testimony. Defense attorneys could help remedy this, by pointing out that one reason this testimony is important is that it can individuate—or paint a unique picture of—a defendant, and thus help reduce the impact of jurors’ stereotypes.
Originally published at: https://casetext.com/analysis/juries-implicit-bias-and-the-silencing-of-criminal-defendants