Flashpoint: Diverse juries matter, Reform Alliance post-Meek Mill and women composers

Flashpoint
October 20, 2019 - 9:30 am
Host Cherri Gregg talks to civil rights and criminal defense attorney Kevin Mincey and Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Carolyn Nichols about the diversity of jurors.

Charlotte Reese/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — This week on Flashpoint: Host and KYW Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg asks the burning questions about diversity of jurors.

In recent weeks, juries composed of a majority of people of color have been critical to a number of high profile, racially charged trials across the country. Former Texas cop Amber Guyger, who is white, was found guilty of murdering Botham Jean, a black man, who she shot while he was in his home. Locally, a majority minority jury found bicycle courier Michael White, who is black, not guilty of manslaughter, in the Rittenhouse Square stabbing death of Sean Schellenger, a white real estate developer.

But how important is a diverse jury? Reports show one in three Philadelphians ignore jury summonses, but why? Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Carolyn Nichols joins civil rights and criminal defense attorney Kevin Mincey and Maida Malone, president of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts in this interesting discussion. 

Van Jones, Reform Alliance CEO
Courtesy of Reform Alliance

The newsmaker of the week is the Reform Alliance. The organization was born out of rapper Meek Mill's struggles for freedom. Mill, who spent roughly a decade on probation, was sentenced to 2-4 years in prison for a non-technical violation in 2018 sparking a movement. Reform Alliance was created by Mill, Mike Rubin, Jay-Z and others to change the laws that lead to Mill's incarceration. Mill earned his freedom in recent months. Reform CEO Van Jones and Chief Legal Officer Monique Haughton Worrell discuss current efforts to pass probation reform in Pennsylvania.

Erin Busch, founder of Young Women's Composer Camp
Charlotte Reese/KYW Newsradio

The changemaker of the week is Erin Busch, founder of Young Women's Composer Camp. Busch, a composer and cellist, attended Temple University. She says lack of women in musical composition sparked her interest. The camp will begin accepting applications early next year.

Flashpoint airs every Saturday at 9:30pm and Sunday at 8:30am on 1060AM. It also airs at 5am Sundays on B101FM and WPHP 1210AM and at 6am on WOGL 98.1 and TDY 96.5.  

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