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

Courses

Criminal Law (CRIM-100-2)

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 and anticipated 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 on the basis of criminal records at the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Professor Roberts teaches criminal procedure, criminal law, and evidence, and was recently awarded a Fellowship at NYU Law's Experiential Learning Lab. She was previously an Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering at NYU School of Law, and before that a public defender at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, and a law 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

Dismissals as Justice, 69 ALA. L. REV. (forthcoming Dec. 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

Student Note

"Soldiering on in Hope": United Nations Peacekeeping in Civil Wars, 35 N.Y.U. J. INT'L L. & POL. 839 (2003)

Book Chapter

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).

Book Review

The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries by Suja A. Thomas, 132 POL. SCI. Q. (forthcoming 2017).

Non-Academic Publications

Prior Conviction Impeachment: Is Reform Finally Afoot? (Sept. 26, 2017), available at https://injusticetoday.com/prior-conviction-impeachment-is-reform-finally-afoot-e62167743069

A Victory for Racially Inclusive Juries in Washington (Sept. 5, 2017), available at 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), available at https://guerrillaguides.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/no-5-evidence/

Foster v. Chatman: An Egregious Batson Violation (and a SCOTUS Reversal)(May 24, 2016), available at 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), available at https://casetext.com/posts/should-the-supreme-court-abolish-peremptory-strikes.

Juries, Implicit Bias, and the Silencing of Criminal Defendants (Aug. 7, 2015), available at 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.

Collateral Consequences: The Crossroads of Punishment, Redemption and the Effects on Communities

May 10, 2017 | U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Professor Anna Roberts participated in a panel discussion on the collateral consequences of incarceration.

Mayor Murray's Tactic of Attacking His Accusers Is Common, But Experts Say It Keeps Survivors of Sexual Abuse Quiet

May 04, 2017 | The Stranger

Professor Anna Roberts shared her scholarship about how past convictions are used to disparage people in court.

Reclaiming the Importance of the Defendant's Testimony

March 06, 2017 | Excited Utterance

Professor Anna Roberts explains her recent scholarship on this podcast.