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H. QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN DEFENDANT IS A MEMBER OF A RACIAL OR ETHNIC MINORITY - MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges
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H. QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN DEFENDANT IS A MEMBER OF A RACIAL OR ETHNIC MINORITY

From MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges

This section was written by Professor Steve Simonn

We are very concerned about fairness in our legal system, especially as our society becomes more diverse. The following questions can be asked of potential juror members regarding their contacts and experiences with members of the group that the defendant is a member of.

1) Please tell us the type of contacts you have had with Blacks/Asians/Native Americans/Hispanics

2) Do you work with any Blacks/ Natives Americans/ Asians?

a) Describe work setting (i.e. large factory; small office)
b) If so, do you socialize with them at work?
c) Coffee breaks, lunch?
d) Socialize with them outside of work?
e) If so, types of activities?
f) Have they been in your home? Have you been in their home?

3) Do you have kids? Are they in school?

4) Are your kids friends with any Blacks/Native Americans/ Asians in school?

5) Have your kids’ minority friends ever been in your house?

6) Have your kids ever been in their minority friend's home?

7) Do Blacks/ Native Americans/ Asians live in your neighborhood?

8) Do you have any contact with them?

a) Describe?
b) Ever been in their house?
c) They ever been in your house?
d) Kids have any contact with them? Their kids?
e) Are you friends with them?
f) Their kids & your kid’s friends?

9) Any Blacks/ Native Americans/ Asians in your church?

a) If so, describe types of contacts you have with them?

10) When you were growing up were there any Blacks/ Native Americans/ Asians in your neighborhood?

a) What kind of relationship did you have with them?
b) Describe activities you would do with them?
c) They ever in your home? You ever in their home?

11) Ever date Black/ Native American/ Asian?

a) If yes, How did your parents feel about that?

12) Your children ever date Black/ Native American/ Asian?

a) If yes, How do you feel about that?
b) If no, How would you feel about your child dating a Black/ Native American/ Asian?

13) Have you or anyone close to you ever been the victim of a crime?

a) Do you know the race/ethnicity of the person who committed that crime?
b) If yes, Is there anything about the race of the person who committed that crime that would make it difficult for you to be a juror in this case?

14) Is there anything about the race of the defendant in this case that would make it difficult for you to be a juror in this case?

a) If yes, How do you feel about that?
b) If no, How would you feel about your child dating a Black/ Native American/ Asian?

15) Have you or anyone close to you ever been the victim of a crime?

a) If yes, Is there anything about the race of the person who committed that crime that would make it difficult for you to be a juror in this case?

16) Is there anything about the race of the defendant in this case that would make it difficult for you to be a juror in this case?

17) If you were chosen as a juror in this case and during deliberation another juror started talking about the race of the defendant, would you speak up and say the defendant's race has nothing to do with this case?