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Fri Dec 16, 2016, 09:52 AM

Oregon's jury system designed to 'dampen' voice of minorities, judge rules

A Portland judge Thursday declined to grant a new trial to a 33-year-old African American man despite his argument that he didn't get a fair trial because only one of 12 jurors was black.

But even though the decision went against the defendant, it still marked a victory in the fight for those who criticize Oregon's 82-year-old jury system as potentially racist.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Bronson James ruled that the system stems from racial motivations to "dampen the influence" of minorities who sit on juries.

It's the first time an Oregon judge has been asked to weigh in on the controversy, legal observers say.

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/12/did_black_defendant_get_fair_t.html

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