The prospect of jury vaccine mandates is prompting concern among trial lawyers that COVID-19 vaccination disparities across racial and political lines could skew jury pools, according to a Law360 article.
Nick Carter said he favors vaccines generally and mask mandates for jurors and anyone in the courtroom who isn't speaking. However, mandating juror vaccinations could impair the integrity of juries.
"We need a representative jury pool, and I'm concerned a vaccine mandate will skew the juror pools so that certain segments of the community don't get to participate in the jury process," Carter told the publication. "That would be bad for the process and bad for civic engagement."
Though Massachusetts is among the most vaccinated states in the country, Carter pointed to statistics that show that people of color are less likely to have been vaccinated than white people.
Federal judges, fearing the spread of COVID-19 inside their courtrooms, are considering vaccination mandates for jurors who must sometimes sit close to one another during a trial or deliberation, according to Law360.