Theranos judge requires COVID shots for jurors, but will that skew the jury pool?

Sept 2 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge this week dismissed from a jury pool nine people who were unvaccinated against COVID-19. He said his aim was to keep jurors and their families healthy but might his decision skew the jury pool?

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, presiding over the California fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, took the action on Tuesday.​

While choosing an all-vaccinated jury may be within a court’s power to safeguard jurors, critics say it could reduce the fairness of trials.

“If you excuse those (unvaccinated) people, you no longer have a representative jury,” said Christina Marinakis, a jury consultant with litigation consulting company IMS.

The gender, age and ethnicity of the nine excused jurors could not be determined, but vaccinated Americans are more likely to be older, female, white, college educated and Democratic.

Data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows 70% of white Americans have been vaccinated, compared to 65% of Black Americans; 71% of females, compared to 63% of males; and 86% of Democrats, compared to 54% of Republicans.

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Source: Reuters