Brief of Amici Curiae NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the American Civil Liberties Union in Support of Petitioner.
Argument: The right to an impartial jury includes the right to a jury determination uncorrupted by racial prejudice. The Colorado Supreme Court misapprehended the constitutional import of racial prejudice in the jury system as a uniquely harmful and critical issue. Policy concerns underlying no-impeachment rules cannot override constitutional rights. Excluding explicit evidence of racial discrimination in juries would seriously undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system. Racial prejudice in the jury system damages individual proceedings, community perceptions, and democratic principles. A Court's refusal to consider whether a verdict is tainted by racial prejudice erodes public confidence.
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner (on Petition for Writ of Certiorari).
Argument: Racial and ethnic bias in jury deliberations erodes public confidence in a criminal justice system already plagued by racial disparity. The admission of evidence showing juror bias during deliberations is necessary to protect the right to a fair trial.