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Convicted Felons Can Now Serve On A Jury In California

The bill goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Posted at 3:48 PM, Jan 01, 2020

A new California law will now allow people with felony convictions to serve on juries.

The bill goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. It bars convicted felons who are on parole or probation from serving, or registered sex offenders.

Some opponents argued that former felons would sway away from siding with police or prosecutors.

Sen. Nancy Skinner, who introduced the legislation, said back in November that the bill is an important step in "solving racial disparities that exist in the jury selection process."

Skinner said that before the bill was passed, "One in five African-American men in California is barred from jury service because of a  prior felony," which "complicates efforts to ensure every defendant a jury of his or her peers."

More than half of the states in the U.S. still ban felons from serving on a jury for life.