Matthew Segal, legal director at the ACLU of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response to Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Commonwealth v. Williams:

“The Court’s decision rightly acknowledges that, so long as they can be impartial in the case at hand, people called to serve on juries don’t need to check their life experiences at the courthouse doors. Life experiences and resulting beliefs—including a belief that the criminal legal system mistreats people of color—do not disqualify prospective jurors. In fact, it would be especially unfair to disqualify prospective jurors merely because they believe that the legal system is unfair to Black men because, as the Court emphasizes, there is ample evidence that this belief is completely correct.”

Learn more about the case

Stay informed

ACLU of Massachusetts is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National