On Federal Juries and American Indian Defendants

Commentators (for example, here and here) have been noting in response to Grassley’s concern that white male perpetrators will not benefit from a jury of their peers in tribal courts that Indian defendants (almost) never stand trial before federal juries with American Indians in the jury box. Let us not forget ASIA Kevin Washburn’s Michigan Law Review article from a few years back that made that perfectly clear. He wrote:

Despite the normative principle of representativeness, Indians tend not to be well represented in federal juries in Indian country cases. Even in states with large Indian populations, Indians remain a very small fraction of the population. As a result, Indians would be expected to have minimal representation in the jury venire. However, the statistics indicate lower numbers than one would expect.