Enacts the "jury pool fair representation act"; provides for the collection of demographic data for jurors who present for service and for the submission of such data in an annual report to the governor, speaker of the assembly, temporary president of the senate and the chief judge of the court of appeals.
BILL NUMBER: S2613A
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the judiciary law, in relation to enacting the "jury pool fair representation act"
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL : This bill would require the recording of demographic data on jury pools to determine whether jury pools in this state represent a fair cross-section of the community.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : The bill adds section 508 to the Judiciary Law, requiring the commissioner of jurors to collect and report demographic data on jury pool participation based on race and/or ethnicity, age and sex, and to annually report such data to the governor, legislative leaders and the chief judge of New York, in order to provide the courts and policymakers with a more accurate picture of jury pools and whether such jury pools are representative of the communities residing in the particular jurisdiction.
JUSTIFICATION : In 2006 Citizen Action-New York released a study suggesting that minorities are severely under-represented in civil jury pools in New York County, confirming what practitioners in that jurisdiction have observed for years. Numerous witnesses at an Assembly hearing on this legislation in the Spring of 2009 testified to a similar conclusion. In order to determine the real the nature and scope of the problem, and in order to adopt appropriate corrective policies, it is necessary to formally collect demographic data on jury pools. Only then can we begin to act to ensure that our juries truly represent a fair cross-section of the community.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : Minimal. The data can be easily collected by adding appropriate questions to existing juror questionnaires and forms.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Ninety days after enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2613--A 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 25, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judici- ary -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the judiciary law, in relation to enacting the "jury pool fair representation act" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "jury pool fair representation act". S 2. The judiciary law is amended by adding a new section 528 to read as follows: S 528. COLLECTION OF DEMOGRAPHIC DATA. THE COMMISSIONER OF JURORS SHALL COLLECT DEMOGRAPHIC DATA FOR JURORS WHO PRESENT FOR JURY SERVICE, INCLUDING EACH JUROR'S RACE AND/OR ETHNICITY, AGE AND SEX, AND THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR OF THE COURTS SHALL SUBMIT THE DATA IN AN ANNUAL REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01061-03-9