Clarence Thomas

Racial bias in the jury room can violate a defendant's right to a fair trial, Supreme Court says

Racial bias in the jury room can violate a defendant's right to a fair trial, Supreme Court says

Racial comments made during jury deliberations may violate a defendant's right to a fair trail and require review of a resulting guilty verdict, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The court's decision came in the case of Coloradan Miguel Angel Peña Rodriguez, who found out after his conviction that a juror said he felt that Peña Rodriguez was guilty of sexual assault because he was Mexican, and "Mexican men take whatever they want."

Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the court's liberals in a 5 to 3 decision that said racially biased comments in the jury room may violate the constitutional guarantee of a fair trial, and require examining the usual secrecy that...

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