E10: What Happens in the Jury Room … Sometimes Goes to SCOTUS


The concepts of “free” and “fair” bump heads October 11 when the Supreme Court hears oral argument in Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado.

On the one hand, courts want jury deliberation to be free and open, so that jurors can unreservedly discuss guilt and innocence. That’s why courts don’t generally allow parties to introduce statements made in the jury room as a way to overturn convictions.

On the other hand, courts want convictions to be fair, and unhampered by racial bias.

So what should trial courts do when confronted with racial statements made during jury deliberations?

That’s what the Supreme Court will decide in Pena-Rodriguez. Listen as Nick Datlowe breaks down the case for Bloomberg BNA.

You can check out more oral argument preview podcasts on Cases and Controversies, or you can follow along with all the U.S. Supreme Court developments with a free trial to United States Law Week.