Skip to main content
Action Justice
Press Statement November 5, 2021

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and NAACP Georgia State Conference President Barbara Pierce Release Statement on Discrimination in Jury Selection

Action Justice

The NAACP is deeply concerned with racial discrimination in jury selection, which has been a blight on this nation's criminal justice system for decades and continues to be. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court stated 35 years ago in Batson v. Kentucky that "[s]election procedures that purposely exclude black people from jurors undermine public trust in the impartiality of our system of justice."

This week, the judge in the State of Georgia v. Gregory McMichael discovered on the record that there appeared to be "intentional discrimination" in the jury selection process for Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan, the three white men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man shot to death while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia. Nevertheless, despite the prosecution's objections, the judge permitted the case to proceed with eleven white jurors and excluded all but one Black potential juror.

The NAACP remains hopeful that the jury will reach the definitive result based on the evidence provided during the trial. Nevertheless, we are disturbed that this form of prejudice continues to exist, and we will closely observe the proceedings.