State v. Berhe - Supreme Court sides with ACLU, LMBA

Back in February 2019, the Loren Miller Bar Association joined the ACLU of Washington on an amicus brief in the case State v. Berhe, involving an African-American juror who alleged implicit racial bias during jury deliberation in the 206 murder trial of Tomas Berhe. When the defendant requested a new trial based on the allegation, he was denied without an evidentiary hearing first. Berhe appealed, and with the leadership of Jeffrey Robinson, Twyla Carter and Antoinette Davis of the ACLU, LMBA filed its supporting brief with respect to the alleged racial bias. On July 19th, the Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion (J. Yu) that the trial court had failed to properly oversee the proceedings, which can be tainted by implicit bias as much as explicit bias. The Court sent the case back down to the trial court to investigate the alleged racism.

Immediate Past President Erika Evans was a leader on this issue throughout her presidency. Read more about State v. Berhe and a Erika's interview in The Seattle Times here: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/supreme-court-sends-murder-assault-case-back-to-trial-court-after-allegations-of-jury-bias/ .

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