Alexandra Brodsky Considers the Experience of Harm in Jury Selection

Alexandra Brodsky (’16), Staff Attorney at Public Justice and author of Sexual Justice, was quoted in a Guardian opinion regarding the complexities of considering jurors’ personal experiences when qualifying them during the selection process (“Does Experiencing Harm Make You Biased and Untrustworthy? Some Think So,” Nov. 22). “Ignorance of pervasive sexual abuse is, itself, a distorting bias, one that fools people into thinking that violence is rare, or that it is only committed by obvious monsters, or that it always appears in real life as it does in TV. Sexual abuse does not render its victims hysterical or unreliable; it endows them, terribly, with deep expertise. Besides, something tells me prospective jurors don’t freely admit when questioned that they’ve committed sexual harm. It cannot be that they, but not survivors, have the power to decide cases.”