jury diversity
Two of the jurors speak out on the Amber Guyger trial. | Screenshot from ABC News

Amber Guyger’s 10-Year Conviction Might Be Because of Jury Diversity, Experts Say

A jury made up mostly of people of color convicted former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger of murder and sentenced her to 10 years in prison — less than the prosecution wanted but more than many thought Guyger would get because she is both white and an officer.

Experts are saying that diversity in the jury contributed to a conviction and a sentence. The 12 jury members, plus four alternates, included seven Black members, five nonblack people of color and four white members. Twelve members of the entire pool were women, and the other four were men.

“Race and ethnicity influence our perceptions and judgment all the time in our daily lives,” Samuel R. Sommers, a Tufts University professor, told the Associated Press. “Nothing makes those biases disappear when we enter a jury room.”

Sommers also told the Associated Press that an all-white jury is more likely to convict a Black defendant, and more racially diverse juries make decisions differently than all-white juries. Research has found that people of color are woefully underrepresented in juries across the country, despite the U.S. moving toward becoming a majority-minority country.

Related Article: Racism in Cobb County Schools Prompting Meetings but No Action

A 2015 report published by the American Bar Association titled “Lack of Jury Diversity: A National Problem with Individual Consequences,” demonstrated that across the country, nonwhites are consistently underrepresented on juries.

Attorney Ben Crump, who represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Tamir Rice and is now representing the Jean family, told the Washington Post: “You have to get diversity [on juries], because you have to get people who understand ‘this could be my child, my niece, my nephew.’ Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, and for the past 400 years, black and brown people haven’t gotten the consideration of equal justice under the law.”

Latest News

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: May 19

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Emergency Services Dispatcher…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: May 12

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Coverage From DiversityInc’s…

Questlove plays a DJ set at DiversityInc's 2022 Top 50 event.

Photo Gallery: 2022 Top 50 Event

Accenture earns No. 1 spot on the Top 50 List, Hilton joins Hall of Fame. Expert panels and presentations cover the event’s theme of “ESG: Climate and Culture at Risk”. State Street execs share how they ranked for the first time. Cutting edge research from the Wharton School is presented…

Dr. Sally Saba

DiversityInc 2022 Top 50 Event: A New Landscape = New Opportunity: Shaping Corporate Standards of Excellence for ID&E Management

The role of an inclusion, diversity and equity practitioner has completely evolved, and all eyes are on the corporate community as it navigates its approach. Dr. Sally Saba, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Medtronic, spoke about working together to shape the next generation’s standards during her Top50Talk “A New…