Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2011


Law and Society




The article examines issues of potential anti-victim jury bias in hate crime trials of skinheads in Russia. The study is based on the analysis of court transcripts and interviews with judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and victims’ lawyers who participated in four high profile criminal cases. The cases selected for analysis resulted in scandalous acquittals, which raised many questions within the Russian society as to whether lay citizens can and should adjudicate hate crimes committed against members of ethnic and racial minority groups. The results of the study have revealed that the juries in these cases did not demonstrate any bias against ethnic and racial minority victims. On the contrary, it can be suggested that after hearing evidence presented to them, juries were left with a reasonable doubt regarding the guilt of the accused.


This article was originally published in The Chicago-Kent Law Review, 86(2): 669-735. Reproduced with permission