Letters to the Editor

Jury selection: Blind Lady Justice needs no glasses

Bill Barker

Shelton

Re: “Washington leads the way on fair juries,” (TNT, 4/17).

Can you spot a fair jury simply by looking at it? I certainly can’t.

I suppose that’s why potential jurors in criminal cases in our state are asked to fill out questionnaires, which are then shared with defense and prosecuting attorneys, before a person is asked to appear in court to answer attorneys’ questions before an impartial judge.

And since the lawyers from each side can then strike the same number of potential jurors in a trial without giving any reason, the jury selection process seems pretty fair to me now.

Then again, I’m not a certified, argus-eyed ACLU-WA attorney capable of seeing innumerable injustices — be they real or imagined — at any distance in our society.

Nor am I a black-robed Supreme being of our state, able to divine novel new improvements to our courts that no other Supreme beings in our land can discover.

No, I’m just an ordinary Washingtonian, beleaguered by my “unconscious biases,” I suppose. So what do I know?

Still, might we be better off keeping Lady Justice blindfolded rather than fitting her out with a preposterous pair of color-sensitive glasses?

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