Public perceptions of felon-juror exclusion: An exploratory study

James M. Binnall, Nick Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Not only do the 19 million Americans with a felony conviction lose their right to vote, but many also lose the right to serve as jurors. Despite the pervasiveness of felon-juror exclusion, this is the first study to systematically explore public opinions about the exclusion of convicted felons from voting and jury service. While results from 815 Californians revealed greater support for felon-voters than for felon-jurors, a majority opposed felon-juror exclusion and rejected the rationales for doing so. Findings also revealed stark ideological divides, as conservatives were less likely to support felon-voters or felon-jurors, and were more likely to endorse the justifications for felon-juror exclusion. As states debate legislation permitting felon-juror inclusion, our findings indicate that support for such policies is likely greater than courts and policymakers had previously thought, suggesting that officials might benefit from re-considering whether this form of civic marginalization actually represents the will of the people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Convicted felons
  • felon-juror
  • felon-voter
  • political ideology
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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