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Michigan prohibits juror selection by race, sex, religion, national origin

[JURIST] According to a new rule approved by the Michigan Supreme Court [official website], jurors cannot be selected on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The rule, approved by a 4-3 vote and released Friday, will take effect January 1 and will be applied even in cases where the aim of selecting such jurors "would be to achieve balanced representation." The Michigan Judges Association and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights [official website] lobbied against the rule saying it was unnecessary, unclear and could spark legal challenges. But Justice Robert Young, Jr. [official profile] voted in favor of the rule saying that selected jurors based on those categories raises constitutional questions. The court's decision comes in response to efforts by the court in Wayne County to attempt to increase the low percentages of black jurors reporting for jury duty by sending more jury summons to cities with higher black populations. AP has more.

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