Assistant District Attorney Mischeka Nicholson shows the jury a photo of victim Botham Jean during closing remarks in the sentencing phase of former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger's murder trial, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Dallas. Guyger, who said she mistook neighbor Botham Jean's apartment for her own and fatally shot him in his living room, was sentenced to a decade in prison. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

Diversity of jury seen as key factor in officer’s conviction

October 04, 2019 - 12:19 am

Experts say intense public scrutiny likely led to a racially diverse jury in the trial of the white Dallas police officer who fatally shot a black neighbor in his own apartment.

And they say that diversity may have been an important factor in Amber Guyger’s conviction and 10-year prison sentence.

The case ignited debate over race and policing. Critics questioned whether race played a factor in Guyger’s decision to use deadly force.

Alex Piquero is a criminologist at the University of Texas at Dallas. He says the trial “had a magnifying glass on it,” and jury selection was a fairer process because of that.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys, he says, likely realized there would be a huge public outcry if the jury had been mostly white.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()