Rapid gentrification in Central Brooklyn is changing the ethnographic makeup of juries and subsequent outcome of cases in the borough, reported the New York Post.
The paper refers to it as the “Williamsburg Effect,” where more hipsters and greater numbers of people with higher education are now occupying the seats in the jury pools.
As a result, it is shifting the way cases are being decided– bad news for defendants in criminal cases and bad news for plaintiffs in civil lawsuits.
“The jurors are becoming more like Manhattan — which is not good for defendants,’’ noted veteran defense lawyer Julie Clark. “I’m not sure people from the University of Vermont would believe that a police officer would [plant] a gun.’’
High-profile lawyer Arthur Aidala said juries used to be 80 percent people of color, but now grand juries have more of what he calls “law-and-order types.”
“People who can afford to live in Brooklyn now don’t have the experience of police officers throwing them against cars and searching them,” said Aidala.
“A person who just moves here from Wisconsin or Wyoming, they can’t relate to [that]. It doesn’t sound credible to them.”