WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled that racial bias in the jury room can be a reason for breaching the centuries-old legal principle of secrecy in jury deliberations.
The court ruled 5-3 Monday in a case in which a juror reportedly tied defendant Miguel Angel Pena Rodriguez's guilt to his Hispanic heritage.
The juror's statements came to light after Pena Rodriguez was convicted. Two jurors reported that a third juror colleague determined that he was guilty because Pena Rodriguez is "Mexican, and Mexican men take whatever they want."
Justice Anthony Kennedy and the court's four liberal justices formed the majority. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.