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File #: 180755    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 9/13/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Authorizing the Committee on Law and Government to hold public hearings to examine the benefits of providing childcare in courtrooms for jurors and others involved in court business, and to evaluate the feasibility of instituting such a childcare system in Philadelphia.
Sponsors: Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Bass
Attachments: 1. Signature18075500.pdf
Title
Authorizing the Committee on Law and Government to hold public hearings to examine the benefits of providing childcare in courtrooms for jurors and others involved in court business, and to evaluate the feasibility of instituting such a childcare system in Philadelphia.

Body
WHEREAS, Jury service has long been an important aspect of American civil life. Thomas Jefferson referred to jury service as "the only anchor, ever yet imagined by man, by which government can be held to the principles of its constitution". Public participation in the jury system is a key avenue by which citizens are able to engage with the political process. Without it, the vitality of American democracy is endangered; and

WHEREAS, A further hallmark of American constitutional democracy is the right to an impartial jury. The courts have largely interpreted this to mean that defendants are entitled to a jury of their peers, or to a jury that generally represents a cross-section of the community; and

WHEREAS, Jury diversity is a necessary component to a fair trial. American history is replete with examples of predominately white and male juries withholding justice for minorities, from Jim Crow era show trials to contemporary failures to indict or convict police officers for the killing of unarmed Black and Brown men; and

WHEREAS, In its 2016 report entitled Best Practices for Jury Selection and Service in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness found systemic challenges that prevent juries from being inclusive. It stated that many women are often unable to serve on juries due to childcare or eldercare responsibilities. Instead of excusing this section of the population from jury duty, the Commission recommended that each judicial district in the Commonwealth provide childcare for jurors; and

WHEREAS, To facilitate the creation of childcare centers for jurors, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted Act 105 in 2000. The...

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