PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


PNS Daily Newscast - June 18, 2021 

President Biden just signed a law declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday; and the first tropical storm system is forecast to make landfall in U.S. by end of the week.

2021Talks - June 18, 2021 

The U.S. marks a new national holiday; Republicans reject Sen. Joe Manchin's election reform compromise; and U.S. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare but strikes a blow to equal rights.

NC Supreme Court Considers Racial Discrimination in Jury Box

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

In the case Batson v. Kentucky, a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court decision made it illegal to exclude jurors on the basis of race. (Adobe Stock)
In the case Batson v. Kentucky, a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court decision made it illegal to exclude jurors on the basis of race. (Adobe Stock)
 By Nadia Ramlagan - Producer, Contact
February 5, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments in the cases of Cory Bennett of Sampson County and Cedric Hobbs of Cumberland County. Attorneys for the two men argued that prosecutors excluded black citizens from the defendants' juries because of their race.

David Weiss, senior staff attorney for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, said if the court finds that racial discrimination played a key role in removing jurors, the men may receive new trials.

"So, if the court finds that there was race discrimination against black jurors or jurors of color in these two cases," he said, "it would be the first time in the history of our state that our court has recognized the problem of race discrimination in jury selection."

Weiss said the court should reach a decision in coming months. A 2018 analysis found that North Carolina's high courts largely have failed to enforce a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court decision that barred racially motivated jury exclusion.

In the more than 30 years since the 1986 law, Weiss said, more than 100 North Carolina defendants have raised claims of discrimination against jurors of color.

"There are multiple studies in our state, which have looked at hundreds of cases -- have looked at decisions to remove thousands of jurors -- and have found that black jurors are removed by prosecutors at twice the rate that white jurors and all other jurors are removed," he said.

Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry said this is a problem that everyone in the justice system, including prosecutors, needs to address.

"Doing trainings around our own racial bias, around the ways in which racial bias may impact the decisions that we make in picking jurors," she said, "and that just even having vocalized that to our attorneys, and having them keep on the top of their mind, I think has made a difference."

Other states including Connecticut, Nevada and Washington have taken recent steps to address racial discrimination in the jury box, including reversing convictions marred by racial bias, crafting new legal approaches and appointing commissions to study jury discrimination.

Legal documents for the two cases are online at, and the 2018 analysis is at

Disclosure: Center for Death Penalty Litigation contributes to our fund for reporting. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Best Practices