Anna Roberts

Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Fellow, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality
Curriculum Vitae

Contact

Sullivan Hall 320
(206) 398-4083
robertan@seattleu.edu

Education

B.A., University of Cambridge, 1999
M.A., University of Cambridge
J.D., New York University School of Law, 2003

Specializations

Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure
Evidence

Biography

Professor Roberts is a scholar of evidence and criminal procedure, with articles published or forthcoming in journals that include the University of Chicago Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Boston University Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Alabama Law Review, and U.C. Davis Law Review, and a book chapter forthcoming with the Oxford University Press.

Professor Roberts's scholarship has addressed biases and disparities in the process of forming criminal records, with a particular focus on the peremptory challenge and implicit jury bias. It has also addressed consequences of conviction, with a particular focus on prior conviction impeachment and jury exclusion. Her current work focuses on the relationship between the two, exposing and challenging the weight and meaning given to criminal records in light of the flawed processes that led to them.

Two of Professor Roberts's articles have been selected by the Academic Advisory Board of the Getting Scholarship into Court Project for inclusion on its "must read" list, and a third was one of four articles selected from the 2015 Call for Papers of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS).

Professor Roberts is a regular media commentator and presenter at judicial conferences on issues that include implicit jury bias, prior conviction impeachment, and jury selection and exclusion. Her work on prior conviction impeachment was featured on evidence podcast "Excited Utterance," and she has testified about jury exclusion at the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

During academic year 2018-19, Professor Roberts will be a visiting professor at St John's University School of Law, where she will teach evidence, contemporary topics in criminal law, and torts; she has also taught criminal law and criminal procedure. Previous positions included Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering at NYU School of Law; staff attorney (criminal defense) at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem; and judicial clerk to Judge Constance Baker Motley of the Southern District of New York.

Professor Roberts holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Cambridge, where she graduated first in her class in Classics, earning a Starred First with Distinction. She graduated magna cum laude from NYU School of Law, where she was a Dean's Scholar, a Florence Allen Scholar, and a Member of the Order of the Coif.

Publications

Articles & Book Chapters

Arrests as Guilt, 60 ALA. L. REV. (forthcoming 2019), available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3167521

Jurors' Reactions to Implicit Biases: Are Informational Interventions Effective?, in CRIMINAL JURIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY: PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE AND THE LAW (Cynthia Najdowski & Margaret Stevenson, eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018)

Dismissals as Justice, 69 ALA. L. REV. 327 (2017)
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2967562 

Reclaiming the Importance of the Defendant's Testimony: Prior Conviction Impeachment and the Fight Against Implicit Stereotyping, 83 U. CHI. L. REV. 835 (2016)
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2620005

Conviction by Prior Impeachment, 96 B.U. L. REV 1977 (2016)
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2768951

Asymmetry as Fairness: Reversing a Peremptory Trend, 92 WASH. U. L. REV. 1503 (2015)
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2419843

Impeachment by Unreliable Conviction, 55 B.C. L. REV. 563 (2014)
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2329452

Casual Ostracism: Jury Exclusion on the Basis of Criminal Convictions, 98 MINN. L. REV. 592 (2013)
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2234257

Disparately Seeking Jurors: Disparate Impact and the (Mis)use of Batson, 45 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 1359 (2012)
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1854686

(Re)forming the Jury: Detection and Disinfection of Implicit Juror Bias, 44 CONN. L. REV. 827 (2012)
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1935617

Responses and Reviews

Opioid Policing by Barbara Fedders, 94 IND. L.J. SUPP. (forthcoming 2019) (response)

The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries by Suja A. Thomas, 132 POL. SCI. Q. 179 (2018) (review)

Shorter Works

Judges Who Help Us Expand Our "Crabbed View" of Justice Beyond Criminal Prosecution (Feb. 8, 2018), https://injusticetoday.com/judges-who-help-us-expand-our-crabbed-view-of-justice-beyond-criminal-prosecution-99daad4b03ad

Will the Most Controversial Rule of Evidence be Reformed? (Dec. 6, 2017), https://injusticetoday.com/will-the-most-controversial-rule-of-evidence-be-reformed-5930fd36df50

Prior Conviction Impeachment: Is Reform Finally Afoot?(Sept. 26, 2017), available at https://injusticetoday.com/a-victory-for-racially-inclusive-juries-in-washington-de1768861af0

A Victory for Racially Inclusive Juries in Washington (Sept. 5, 2017), https://injusticetoday.com/a-victory-for-racially-inclusive-juries-in-washington-de1768861af0

Guerrilla Guide to Teaching Evidence (co-created with Jocelyn Simonson) (Sept. 5, 2017), https://guerrillaguides.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/no-5-evidence/

Foster v. Chatman: An Egregious Batson Violation (and a SCOTUS Reversal)(May 24, 2016), https://casetext.com/posts/foster-v-chatman-an-egregious-batson-violation-and-a-scotus-reversal

Should the Supreme Court Abolish Peremptory Strikes? (Oct. 30, 2015), https://casetext.com/posts/should-the-supreme-court-abolish-peremptory-strikes.

Juries, Implicit Bias, and the Silencing of Criminal Defendants (Aug. 7, 2015), https://casetext.com/posts/juries-implicit-bias-and-the-silencing-of-criminal-defendants.

Recent Activity

In the News

Prior Conviction Impeachment: Is Reform Finally Afoot?

September 26, 2017 | In Justice Today

Prof. Anna Roberts offers some suggestions for why Washington state should consider abolishing the practice of prior conviction impeachment.