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Law Professor: Arizona's New Jury Selection Rule 'A Huge Step Towards Addressing Racial Bias'

The Arizona Supreme Court says it’s getting rid of peremptory strikes — the ability of lawyers to eliminate potential jurors without giving a reason.

The rule change will take effect at the start of the new year in January and make Arizona the first state in the country to make this move.

Typically, both the prosecution and defense have a set number of peremptory strikes that they can use when picking the jury for a case, but data suggest they can lead to less diverse juries. 

The Show spoke about this with Valena Beety, a professor of law and deputy director of the Academy for Justice at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

She said she likes the change, and calls it an important step in addressing racial bias.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.