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Article Title

Race, Gender, and Juries: Evidence from North Carolina

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189

Abstract

This paper uses data from felony jury trials in North Carolina to show that the race and gender composition of the randomly selected jury pool has a significant effect on the probability of conviction, attorneys adjust peremptory-challenge strategies in accordance, and state peremptory challenges have a positive impact on the conviction rate when the defendant is a black male. Jury pools with higher proportions of white men are more likely to convict black male defendants relative to white male defendants. Jury pools with a higher proportion of black men are more likely to acquit all defendants, especially black men. Attorneys use peremptory challenges strategically in accordance with these results, which are robust to a wide set of controls, including county and judge fixed effects. Each state peremptory challenge is correlated with a 2.4–2.9-percentage-point increase in the conviction rate when the defendant is black.

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