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WEBINAR: Jurors and Jury Trials in a Post-COVID World

On May 27, 2021, the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers presented a webinar about promoting racial diversity and better fact-finding in jury trials. MODERATOR Hon. Gregory Mize (ret.), Judicial Fellow, Center for Jury Studies, National Center for State Courts PRESENTERS Hon. Pamela Gates, Civil Presiding Judge, Superior Court, Maricopa County (Arizona)…

In-person NAPCO 2021 Boston Conference Likely to Grow

The CDC recently reported that ten states, most of them in the northeast portion of the country, have achieved the Biden Administration’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the adult population with at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Public health experts generally agree that herd immunity is reached when 70 to 80 percent of the populace has been inoculated against a contagious pathogen. Herd immunity makes it possible to protect all people from a disease, including those who can’t be vaccinated, such as newborns or those who have compromised immune systems.

What Brown v. Board can still teach us

As we commemorate the 67th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Americans have much to learn about the legacy and unrealized promise that Brown represents. The opinion famously relies on social science evidence submitted by psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark and other eminent scholars establishing that segregation harms the psychological development of Black children, and that official segregation “generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.”

Americans are divided by age and race on the fairness of the justice system, ABA civics survey finds

A new survey released by the ABA on Thursday, April 29, 2021 found stark divisions based on age and race when it comes to believing that there are racial biases built into the rules, procedures and practices of the justice system. While 45% of white respondents said they agree or strongly agree with that statement, 80% of Black respondents and 63% of Hispanic respondents agreed or strongly agreed. Additionally, the ABA 2021 Survey of Civic Literacy discovered that more than two-thirds of Americans ages 18-34 believe racial biases exist in the justice system, but only about one-third of Americans age 65 and older do.

Superior Court in Orange County California Safely Conducted 170 Jury Trials during COVID

When U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney dismissed charges against defendants in the Central District of California for the failure of the court to provide speedy trials, he cited the success of the Orange County Superior Court in conducting trials during the pandemic. Orange County courts have conducted over 100 jury trials from the start of the pandemic, which Carney says demonstrates why trials could be held in the Central District. These rulings were appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which questioned whether the numerous trials conducted by the Orange County court were safely conducted. I can say that they were indeed conducted safely.

New educational resource for courts on implicit bias

A new NCSC report, The Evolving Science of Implicit Bias: An Updated Resource for the State Court Community, is now available at the NCSC website. The report defines commonly used terms originating from the science of implicit bias; explains how the concept of implicit bias fits into broader conversations underway across the country about equity and fairness; and summarizes what is currently known from research in the psychological and brain sciences, including implicit bias interventions generally found to be effective and ineffective.

WEBINAR: Transitioning the Workforce Back to the Office

On April 22, 2021, the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers presented a webinar about tackling the legal and ethical issues facing court leaders as we transition the workforce back to the office. PRESENTERS Dr. Brenda Wagenknecht-Ivey, CEO, PRAXIS Consulting, Inc. (Denver) Dana Bartocci, Director, Human Resources & Development, Minnesota Judicial Branch…