CHARLOTTE NAACP: Lack of diversity in Kerrick jury selection

The jury in the Kerrick trial is raising concerns for some people. The NAACP tells FOX 46 it's disappointed in the makeup of the jury.

It consists of eight women and four men. Two women and three men are white, two women are Hispanic and two women and one man is black. The NAACP is upset because of a lack of diversity, saying the jury selection does not reflect the demographic of Mecklenburg County. 

The real question is, how important is diversity in such a high profile case like the Kerrick trial?

Corine Mack, Charlotte Chapter President of the NAACP says she's been emotionally attached to the Kerrick case from the beginning. "He was a man. A young man who had a life to live. Which will not be lived now because it was taken by officer Kerrick," Mack said.

12 jurors will have to decide if officer Randall Kerrick used excessive force or acted in self-defense in the shooting death of unarmed Jonathan Ferrell.

One major concern the NAACP now has is that the jury selection is not diverse enough, something Mack believes could potentially hurt the case. "I think it would help if there were more African Americans because the likelihood is that the African-American has walked in that African-American's shoes. And seen through those eyes."

Legal expert Lane Williamson says it's not all about race. That under federal law, you can not simply select a juror because of their ethnicity.
They had to pick from a pool of 60 people who were all selected randomly from driver's license records and voting records.

"The only thing that's really wrong is where one side or the other is excusing jurors simply based on race," Williamson said.

Mack and Williamson agree just because someone fits a certain demographic does not mean they will decide one way or another. 

Williamson also points out that jurors have to serve on the trial for a long period of time, which takes them away from work. He says the jury pool can be skewed based on socio-economics because of that, which doesn't necessarily mean race.

Mack says while the jury selection is final she has one message for the 12 people who will be seated Monday morning. "You as an individual would look at this trial from a human nature. An unarmed man was killed," Mack said.

Opening statements begin Monday and the judge will announce tomorrow if cameras will be allowed in the courtroom. 

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