High School Journal of Law and Society Issue I

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Table of Contents I. An Analysis of Jury Bias and Jury Nullification……


II. Despite Historical Prejudice, the LGBTQ+ Community Has Rights, as They Deserve…… 20 III. Why American Nuclear Research Flourished During World War II……



An Analysis of Jury Bias and Jury Nullification Author Kaya Vadhan, She/Her Brookline High School, Class of 2021 Brookline, MA Mentor Rachel Katzin JD Candidate University of Chicago Law School Editor Zoe Tseng, She/Her Brookline High School, Class of 2021 Brookline, MA Reviewer Julie Higgins Assistant District Attorney Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Homicide Department



INTRODUCTION Juries exist in America’s criminal justice system to impartially determine whether a

defendant is guilty of a crime. As humans, however, jurors are subject to inevitable implicit biases, causing them to incorporate their own emotions, values, and experiences into their verdicts. One result of jury bias can be jury nullification. Jury nullification is when a jury returns a not guilty verdict despite having sufficient evidence to believe the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (Weinstein, 239). The purpose of this paper is to analyze the causes of biases in jurors, how biases affect jury nullification, and the positive and negative consequences of jury nullification. II.

HISTORY OF JURY NULLIFICATION Before 1670, jurors were punished for acquitting defendants presumed guilty (Horowitz,

166). In 1670, however, during the ​Bushel ​case in England, William Penn and William Mead were acquitted from charges of illegally assembling and preaching religion against the Church of England (166). This was the first instance of jurors legally acquitting guilty defendants because of their moral conscience. The case outcome determined jurors may not be punished for their verdicts, which was reaffirmed in ​U.S. v. Battiste:​ Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story declared that juries have the “physical power to disregard the law as laid down to them by the court” (167). The judge-jury relationship began to change in the mid 19th century when some judges rejected nullification because it violated the defendant’s right to a fair trial with an impartial judge (168). However, attempts to withhold nullification powers led to statutes explicitly stating juries had the power to make a verdict contrary to evidence. But despite the general consensus that juries had the power to nullify, it was held in ​United States v. Dougherty​ (1972) that judges cannot explicitly tell jurors about nullification (Clark, 45). Although surrounded by controversy,


this ideology remains common practice today. Throughout history jury nullification has been used when people were illegally issuing seditious libel, harboring fugitive slaves, disregarding prohibition, and protesting the Vietnam war. Today, jury nullification can occur in situations, such as crimes relating to drugs, race, euthanasia, and domestic abuse. Many of these instances of nullification are a result of jurors having a strong emotional response to a case. For example, in cases of euthanasia, jurors may acquit a doctor who illegally issued death-inducing drugs to termanilly ill patients because of sympathy for the doctor’s intent. Or, certain jurors may have racial or gender biases, causing them to disregard facts and either convict or acquit based on emotion despite clear evidence proving the opposite. Either way, the role of emotions and morals in the courtroom is disputed, making jury nullification an incredibly controversial topic. Examining the roots of biasing values and emotions, and how they affect juror outcomes, is imperative to making a judgement on the validity of jury nullification. III.


Pretrial Publicity About a Defendant Can Bias a Jury

Pretrial publicity occurs when news articles about the defendant surface before a trial, depicting them in a certain manner. Multiple studies have provided evidence that positive pre-trial publicity (“PTP”) about the defendant leads to more acquittals than when the defendant experiences negative PTP. In one study, mock jurors read news articles containing either positive or negative PTP about a defendant a week prior to viewing a trial (Ruva, 519).​1​ After viewing, they made a decision on guilt and rated their confidence on a scale of 1-9. Jurors not exposed gave an average guilt rating of 4.73 and found the defendant guilty 59% of the time. The jurors exposed to positive PTP about the defendant gave an average guilt rating of 3.15 with only 25% Study completed by Christine Ruva, Christina Gunther, and Angela Yarborough, psychology professors at University of South Florida, ​Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany, and T ​ exas State University, respectively. 1


finding them guilty, whereas those given negative PTP gave an average guilt rating of 5.67 with 80% finding them guilty (520). These drastic differences show how the preconceived image jurors have before entering the courtroom undoubtedly affect their verdicts. Interestingly, negative PTP about the defendant that is considered to be “weak” or inadmissible in court has the opposite effect. When jurors were exposed to this form of PTP, more “not guilty” verdicts were returned than when they did not experience this PTP (Otto, 462).​2​. An explanation for this could be that jurors feel sympathy for a defendant when it seems they are being treated unfairly. In summary, the effect of positive PTP and seemingly weak, negative PTP is increased acquittals. This raises questions about whether PTP about a defendant is leading to jury nullification. Feeling sympathy for a defendant is one common factor behind nullification. Furthermore, seeing news articles about a defendant caring for his family or being a model citizen prior to the crime could lead jurors to acquit despite the evidence proving the defendant’s guilt. Bias, whether for or against the defendant, interferes with a defendant’s right to a fair trial. So, it is evidently necessary to minimize the amount of publicity on a defendant or crime before the trial, while also being cognizant of the right to freedom of the press. B.

Media Coverage of Other Factors Can Also Bias a Jury

Not only does defendant-related PTP bias jurors, but media coverage of similar crimes, stereotypes, and juror habits can also bias jurors. One study discovered that after a rape victim publicly announced she fabricated her story, conviction rates suddenly dropped in mock rape cases (Greene, 441).​3​ The same study revealed that after a publicized case in which an eyewitness incorrectly identified the rapist, there was also a significant drop in conviction rates From a study done by Amy Otto from the Dept. of Psychology at University of Minnesota, Steven Penrod from University of Minnesota, and Hedy Dexter from University of Northern Colorado. 3 From a study done by Edith Greene, Professor of Psychology at University of Colorado. 2


with cases having an eyewitness to an assault (441). The media jurors consume, despite being unrelated to the case they try, can affect their opinions on the credibility of witnesses, validity of statements, and amount of evidence they need to have “reasonable doubt.” The media also promotes stereotypes of different demographic groups. One example is the famous musical ​West Side Story​, which has two different gangs, one Puerto Rican and one White. The Puerto Rican gang is referred to with more derogatory terms and sustains large amounts of abuse from police officers, normalizing criminal treatment towards Puerto Ricans. One study comparing the treatment of Mexican immigrant defendants to Canadian immigrant defendants showed that 76% of the Mexican defendants were found guilty, whereas only 55% of Canadian defendants were found guilty for the same crime (Espinoza, 6).​4​ When the facts presented to a jury do not create a clear story within a juror’s mind, humans naturally resort to preconceived ideas they have. The media promoting discriminatory racial stereotypes prevents a defendant’s right to an impartial trial due to the subconscious biases it causes within jurors. Finally, one study researched the impact of pornography viewing on jurors’ decisions in rape cases. Subjects were given different doses of pornography before reading newspaper accounts of a sex offense and were asked to recommend the appropriate term for the defendant (Greene, 447). Those who had seen more pornography recommended significantly shorter terms (448). The viewing of pornography may have led jurors to feel that male dominance over women is increasingly normal or that women want and are asking for sex, and are therefore biased in favor of the defendant. If jurors (especially male jurors) feel as though the act was justified, despite it being a crime under the law, then returning a not guilty verdict is an example of jury nullification. This study was completed by Russ Espinoza from California State University, Cynthia Willis-Esqueda from University of Nebraska, Suzette Toascano from California State University, and Jennifer Coons from California State University. 4



Publicity on Jury Nullification Misinforms Jurors About Their Roles

One more form of pretrial publicity is publicity about jury nullification. Because it is illegal for judges to inform juries about their nullification powers, some advocates for nullification will stand outside courtrooms and hand out fliers discussing and promoting it. Press coverage of nullification and fliers advocating for acquittal improperly portray the jury powers and provide misinformation to jurors. One advertisement contained the following quotes: “don't let the judge and prosecutor know that you know about this right [jury nullification]” and “persuade them [other jurors] to vote ‘not guilty’” (Scheflin, 182).​5​ This flier advocates for lying to a judge and disregarding the facts, forcing jurors to enter the courtroom with a mindset of acquitting the defendant, when instead, the role of jurors is to analyze the facts to determine whether the defendant should be acquitted or not. It is important to study how fliers like these impact the amount of non-guilty verdicts and whether this means judges should have the power to inform juries of nullification. IV.


The Race and Ethnicity of Both the Defendant and Victim Bias Jurors

Numerous studies have shown that the race of the parties in a trial can impact whether jurors return guilty or not-guilty verdicts. One meta-analysis showed that jurors recommended greater punishment for Black defendants over White ones, specifically when the victim was White (Mazella, 1316).​6​ A different study on jury capital (death-penalty) deliberations revealed that Black defendants were given significantly more guilty verdicts than White defendants (Lynch, “Emotion” 382).​7​ During the jury deliberations in this study, it was observed that Black Alan Scheflin is a Law Professor at Santa Clara University. The meta analysis was completed by Ronald Mazella, Dept. of Psychology at City University of New York, and Alan Feingold, from the Dept. of Psychiatry at Yale. 7 This study was done by Mona Lynch, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, and Law at University of California Irvine, and Craig Haney, Professor of Psychology at UC Santa Cruz.

5 6


defendants, especially with White victims, were commonly referred to as “scum” or “a rabid dog” or an “animal” (388). Dehumanizing Black defendants decreases the sympathy jurors may feel toward them, and would make jurors less morally opposed to a death sentence. In the same study, jurors were also introduced to “penalty-phase” evidence which is either mitigating (for a life sentence) or aggravating (for a death sentence).​8​ White male jurors’ mean weight for mitigating evidence (on a scale of 1–7, 1 being very mitigating, 7 being very aggravating) for Black defendants was always at least 3.74, showing the mitigating evidence had little mitigating impact on these jurors. As mentioned above, if Black defendants are referred to as “animals,” hearing mitigating evidence could have little emotional impact on jurors. Black defendants are unable to receive a fair trial when evidence that should help acquit them does not, and as a result, many innocent Black lives will be sentenced to death. B.

The SES of a Defendant Also Biases Jurors

Mazella’s meta-analysis on defendant race also provided evidence that as a whole, low SES defendants are more likely to be found guilty and receive larger punishment than high SES defendants (1317). Low SES defendants were found less trustworthy, likeable, competent, ethical, and intelligent than high SES defendants, and much more aggressive (Espinoza, 6). Trait associations can be perpetuated by the media. For example, kids’ television drama shows emphasize this; poorer students get jobs as baristas, whereas richer students find jobs like internships. Furthermore, competency and intelligence particularly are enforced by society through levels of jobs, with those of higher SES working in corporate offices, for example, and those of lower SES having more menial jobs. Another study investigated whether a defendant’s SES impacted punishment, guilt, and blame. Those with low SES were more likely to receive a Aggravating evidence included the crime circumstance, victim impact testimony, and apparent lack of remorse. Mitigating evidence included the defendant experiencing past abuse, drug and alcohol problems at the time of the crime, mental health issues, and his family’s testimony.



severe sentence, with a mean of 7.67 as opposed to a mean of 6.28-6.94 on a scale of 1-9 (Freeman, 2387)​9​. Low SES defendants are clearly seen to be deserving of longer sentences and more severe punishments. Finally, the study analyzing cases with Mexican undocumented immigrants provided another example of bias against low SES defendants. These low SES defendants were found guilty by mock juries 76% of the time, whereas high SES defendants were found guilty only 55% of the time (Espinoza, 6). Aside from being another example of bias, this may also be an example of the associations between ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The difference in guilt verdicts for low SES and high SES Canadian defendants was only 15%, compared to 21% for Mexican defendants. When adding together non-White ethnicity and low SES, the already clear bias seems to be exacerbated. C.

The Physical Attractiveness of a Defendant Can Bias a Jury

Finally, the meta-analysis examined physical attractiveness. Physically unattractive defendants were found guilty more commonly than attractive defendants, specifically in cases of robbery and rape (Mazella, 1320). This could be attributed to pre-trial publicity—the media generally portrays criminals as being unattractive with rugged looks. Another potential explanation is that physically attractive defendants may be assumed to have more desirable personality traits. In the case of Eric and Lyle Menendez and their parents’ murder, both boys were seen as traditionally attractive and had desirable traits. Erik was a top-50 tennis player in the nation for 18 and under players. Lyle attended Princeton University (Clark, 48). As a result, they were not considered suspects at first. But interestingly, in cases of negligent homicide, the physically attractive were found guilty more often (Mazella, 1320). This could be attributed to those who are physically attractive being held to higher standards. Negligence, specifically, may 9

This study was done by Naomi J. Freeman, from the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Albany.


be seen as those with responsibility ignoring it and not doing their duty to uphold society. However, people that are physically attractive should not be held to a higher standard of responsibility. As a result, this is another example of unfair bias. D.

Bias Caused By Defendant and Victim Demographics Leads To Jury Nullification

There is a noticeable correlation between being a racial minority and being of low SES, and those with low SES can afford less of what makes people “attractive.” So, it is likely that there is a correlation between being a racial minority and being traditionally less attractive. The relationship between all of these factors likely causes the strong bias seen against the unattractive, the poor, and/or people of color. Since bias strongly contributes to nullification, differences in demographics of a defendant and victim can make jurors more likely to nullify. V.


White Males Dominate Juror Deliberations and Project Their Biases

Lynch’s jury deliberation study observed how juror interaction affected jury verdicts. During the straw vote stage, only 50% of women chose death, whereas 60% of men did, demonstrating the differences in gendered levels of empathy. However, the women shifted up to 60% after jury deliberation (Lynch, “Capital” 486). This demonstrates the overpowering influence men had over women, which may be a reflection of dynamics outside of the courthouse. The same study showed that White men, specifically, overpowered others in the conversation and were more influential in switching others to their preferences, significantly increasing the racial divide. Juries with higher proportions of White men had the greatest racial disparities in sentencing (Lynch, “Emotion” 402). Again, this could reflect traditional dynamics between Blacks and Whites. Potentially, changing traditional dynamics between men and


women, and Black and White people, in everyday life could change the dynamics during jury deliberation. Another interesting piece to this study was the normalization of resentment towards the defendants. Although resentment towards criminals is typical, the fact that the stakes are life-or-death in capital deliberations does not seem to decrease the impact of this hatred. During jury deliberations, those who sympathized with the defendant and wanted to argue for life were shut down quickly (Lynch, “Emotion” 391). It may be useful to analyze whether capital case decisions are being made recklessly and rashly without deep consideration of evidence, and are solely based on emotion, especially the emotions of white males. B.

Jurors With Higher SES Have More Influence On Juror Decisions

Not only do White males have a higher influence on jury decisions than other demographic groups, but high SES males do as well. Reasons proposed by Professors Fred Strodtbeck, Rita M. James, and Charles Hawkins at the University of Chicago include that males with high SES could have “substantive knowledge and interactional skills,” causing their comments to be seen as more valuable (Strodtbeck, 718). Additionally, they suggest that “cues of status-dress, speech, and casual references to experiences-are easily read, the differentiation may in part be explained by these expectations instead of actual performance” (719). On the other hand, the influence may be caused by actual performance during deliberations. Those with higher socioeconomic status may have more experience in formal social interactions, making them seem more intelligent. Regardless, this causes a lack of representation in jury decisions, interfering with the goals of the United States justice system. C.

Different Values and Beliefs of Jurors Bias Their Sentencing


Belief in a Just World (“BJW”) is the belief that “bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people”; in other words, people get what they deserve (Freeman, 2380). One study on how BJW affects juror decisions showed that jurors with a high BJW found low SES defendants significantly more guilty than high SES defendants. Low SES defendants were given a mean score of 7.33 (on a scale of 1-9, 9 being “definitely guilty”). This score is much higher than that of any other combination of juror BJW and defendant SES (i.e. high BJW and low SES, low BJW and low SES, low BJW and high SES) (2386). If high BJW jurors feel as though low SES defendants are bad people, they would return a longer sentence, because they feel that bad things should happen to bad people. This poses significant questions around the importance of voir dire (juror selection) questioning. Should jurors be questioned about values such as beliefs in a just world? Based on this research, is there grounds for dismissing a juror with high BJW based on their likely biases against defendants with a low SES? Furthermore, general life experiences can contribute to attitudes jurors bring into the courtroom. For example, jurors have views on controversial political issues such as gun control, abortion, or capital punishment (Clark, 49). How should voir dire questioning address these issues? Since all jurors have these biases, how can an impartial jury on controversial cases be chosen? Social Categorization, the idea that people prefer others in the same groups (i.e. race, gender, religion, ethnicity, occupation) as oneself, biases jurors in favor of their “in-group” (Clark, 50). An example of this phenomenon occurred during the OJ Simpson Case. When Black defendant OJ Simpson was on trial, survey results indicated that 60% of White Americans believed him guilty, whereas only 12% of Black Americans did (Clark, 51). The crime


committed, not the race of the defendant and jurors, should affect the trial outcome. Therefore, although Social Categorization is subconscious, it is important to figure out ways to combat it. D.

Bias Caused By Juror Demographics Leads To Jury Nullification

The interactions of jurors in deliberations causes a clear bias in favor of the opinions of White males. This matters because White males acquit White defendants much more than they do Black defendants, as shown both by studies and psychological theories such as Social Categorization. Noting the BJW study, if White males believe White defendants are better people, they could acquit them on the basis that they deserve better things. All of this contributes to bias, which then can lead to jury nullification, and therefore different juror demographics can affect the likelihood of jury nullification. VI.

THE PROS AND CONS OF JURY NULLIFICATION A. Jury Nullification May Be Justified In Certain Situations Although jury nullification has been established as legal, whether juries should use this

power and be informed of it is still highly controversial. One law professor at the University of Alabama Birmingham, John Clark, says that jury nullification instruction “encourages true deliberations rather than confusion, caprice, or bad faith.” Furthermore, the benefits of jury nullification can be seen in the case of ​Wisconsin v. Leroy Reed​. Reed was a man on parole who wanted to become a private investigator, and various books he had read stated he would need a gun. Reed was arrested by his parole officer for illegal possession of a weapon, and though he was guilty of the crime, the jury used their powers of nullification because Reed “had not caused harm, was not likely to cause harm, and certainly did not have any intent to cause harm or violate rules,” and was morally innocent (Scheflin, 168). In addition, in his article “​Considering Jury Nullification: When May and Should a Jury Reject the Law to Do Justice,” Weinstein argues that


jurors will not excessively and inappropriately abuse their power. Assuming Weinstein is correct, jurors should be able to use their moral compass and nullify when they deem it necessary. Paul Butler, former prosecutor and current law professor at George Washington University Law School, specifically argues in favor of race-based jury nullification, meaning Black jurors should acquit Black defendants. He believes the system creates an environment that forces some African Americans to be criminals and argues that jury nullification is a way to counteract this. He claims: (1) the U.S. democracy has betrayed African Americans more than African Americans could ever betray it; (2) the law is incapable of neutral interpretation—every judge is vulnerable to many personal and cultural biases and cannot be neutral; (3) the law uses punishment to treat social problems that should be addressed instead by redistribution of wealth; and (4) the moral legitimacy of majority rule depends on minorities (706–711). Butler makes a strong moral case in favor of race-based jury nullification. However, his argument raises many questions. Even if race-based jury nullification is morally justified, would it have a clear impact on the status of African Americans? Would the main impact be lowering incarceration rates, or would it be emotional? Would it be a way of changing laws? Generally, the ​impact of extralegal factors on juror decisions is unavoidable​—​the jurors’ humanity and susceptibility to emotion makes them unable to disregard such factors. Acknowledging that jurors have these emotions and legally allowing them to act on their moral conscience does not impede justice. When a defendant has good intentions, whether it be because they are uneducated or have different morals than the law, the law should not be explicitly black and white, meaning jury nullification should be considered in these cases. In summary, there are situations where jury nullification is beneficial to society and encourages true justice. B.

Jury Nullification May Not Be Justified In Other Situations


On the other hand, certain scholars argue that jury nullification should not be used and that jurors should not be informed of their power. Professor Andrew Leipold from the University of Illinois College of Law argues any nullification sends the wrong message: “Having given jurors a no-limit credit card and a lecture on spending money wisely, [one] could hardly be surprised if some juries decided that the ‘wise’ use of their power included nullification for some violent crimes as well” (136). In support of this, a study done on the impacts of informing juries about their nullification powers showed that juries informed of nullification do in fact return fewer guilty verdicts overall, including for violent crimes (Scheflin, 174). Nullification can also be used to benefit people already in positions of power. One example is when a video was released of police officer Corey Krug beating a criminal he had apprehended with a stick repeatedly. He was charged with three incidents of Deprivation of a Constitutional Right due to using excessive force. Despite the evidence against him being clear, Krug was acquitted on all charges (“​Jury Finds Buffalo Police Officer”​). Professor Leipold also discusses race-based jury nullification in a specific response to Paul Butler, detailing reasons against it. Consequences of race-based jury nullification could include prosecutors changing the way they picked their juries, possibly eliminating Black jurors as much as possible if they can come up with race-neutral reasons (136). This would mean minority jurors would lose their influence, having the opposite effect of Butler’s desire (136). Leipold also argues that the whole basis of race-based jury nullification is wrong. The unfairness Black defendants have experienced in the justice system is because jurors took into account race when making decisions. Therefore, in any way, shape, or form, jurors should not decide whether a defendant should go to prison based on the color of his skin (134).


In a society where all races are treated equally, race should never be taken into account when making jury decisions. However, the thousands of instances in which Black people have been sent to jail or excessively punished due to their race has caused over-incarceration of Black people, and Butler’s plan attempts to reverse that by making decisions ​for​ Black people based on race. Leipold does raise the question of whether this is moral or fair. But, due to the numerous studies showing jurors still have biases against African American defendants, and considering the discriminatory history, there seems to be justification for using race in favor of African Americans to make acquittals. Also, referring to Leipold’s first argument, it may not necessarily be bad if jurors use nullification in certain violent crime cases. Decreasing the prison population and acquitting defendants who seem unlikely to repeat a crime could have many societal, psychological, and economic benefits to society. Jurors, like those in Krug’s case, may nullify for the wrong reasons, such as out of fear of defying those in positions of authority, or in Krug’s case specifically, fear of losing trust in the police system. Informing jurors that they can nullify would not only lead to acquittals based on moral conscience, but also perpetuate those in positions of authority getting away with more crimes. VII.

CONCLUSION Jury bias is caused by a large variety of factors, such as pre-trial publicity, the

demographics of the parties, and the demographics of the juries. Jury bias can then lead to jury nullification if jurors non-objectively sympathize with certain defendants and acquit them despite having strong evidence of guilt. In order to minimize jury bias, it seems there are three clear steps to be taken: (1) decreasing pretrial publicity; (2) increasing voir dire questioning about jurors’ exposure to pretrial publicity; and (3) diversifying juries, particularly by increasing


minority percentages. After minimizing jury bias, the amount of unfair, irrational acquittals and instances of nullification should decrease. At that point, jury nullification instruction should be considered. Although jury nullification instruction clearly increases the amounts of acquittals, if bias has already been minimized, these acquittals should help the United States maintain a just justice system.


Bibliography Butler, Paul. “Racially Based Jury Nullification: Black Power in the Criminal Justice System.” The Yale Law Journal​, vol. 105, no. 3, 1995, pp. 677–725. ​JSTOR​, www.jstor.org/stable/797197. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Clark, John. "The Social Psychology of Jury Nullification." Law and Psychology Review, vol. 24, 2000, pp. 39-58. HeinOnline. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Espinoza, Russ K.E.; Willis-Esqueda, Cynthia; Toscano, Suzette; and Coons, Jennifer. "The Impact of Ethnicity, Immigration Status, and Socioeconomic Status on Juror Decision Making." Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice​, vol. 13, 2015, pp. 197-216. Accessed 13 Sept. 2020. Freeman, Naomi J. “Socioeconomic Status and Belief in a Just World: Sentencing of Criminal Defendants”, ​Journal of Applied Psychology​, vol. 36, no. 10, 2006, pp. 2379-2394. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-9029.2006.00108.x​. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Greene, Edith. “Media Effects on Jurors.” ​Law and Human Behavior​, vol. 14, no. 5, 1990, pp. 439–450. ​JSTOR​, www.jstor.org/stable/1393934. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Horowitz, Irwin A., and Thomas E. Willging. “Changing Views of Jury Power: The Nullification Debate, 1787-1988.” ​Law and Human Behavior​, vol. 15, no. 2, 1991, pp. 165–182. ​JSTOR​, www.jstor.org/stable/1394265. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. “Jury Finds Buffalo Police Officer Corey Krug Not Guilty of Civil Rights Charges in 2014 Incident.” ​WKBW​, WKBW, 23 July 2019, www.wkbw.com/news/local-news/jury-finds-buffalo-police-officer-corey-krug-not-guilty-of-civi l-rights-charge-in-2014-incident. Leipold, Andrew D. "The Dangers of Race-Based Jury Nullification: A Response to Professor Butler." ​UCLA Law Review​, vol. 44, no. 1, 1996, pp. 109-142. HeinOnline​. ​Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Lynch, Mona, and Haney, Craig. “Capital jury deliberation: Effects on death sentencing, comprehension, and discrimination.” ​Law and Human Behavior,​ vol.​ 33​, no. 6, 2009, pp. 481-496. ​https://doi.org/10.1007/s10979-008-9168-2​. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Lynch, Mona, and Haney, Craig. “Emotion, Authority, and Death: (Raced) Negotiations in Mock Capital Jury Deliberations.” ​Law & Social Inquiry​, vol. 40, no. 2, 2014, pp. 377-405. https://doi.org/10.1111/lsi.12099​. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.


Mazella, Ronald, and Feingold, Alan. “The Effects of Physical Attractiveness, Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Gender of Defendants and Victims on Judgements of Mock Jurors: A Meta-analysis.” ​Journal of Applied Social Psychology,​ vol. 24, ​no. 15​,​ ​1994, pp. 1315-1344. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1994.tb01552.x. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Otto, A.L., Penrod, S.D. & Dexter, H.R. “The Biasing Impact of Pretrial Publicity on Juror Judgements.” ​Law and Human Behav​ior​,​ vol. 18, no. 4​, ​1994, pp. 453–469. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01499050​. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Ruva, Christine, and Guenther, Christina, and Jones, Angela. “Positive and Negative Pretrial Publicity: The Roles of Impression Formation, Emotion, and Predecisional Distortion.” ​Criminal Justice and Behavior, ​vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 511-534. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093854811400823. Scheflin, Alan, and Van Dyke, Jon M. “Merciful Juries: The Resilience of Jury Nullification.” ​48 Wash. & Lee Law Review​, vol. 165, pp. 165-183. HeinOnline. http://digitalcommons.law.scu.edu/facpubs/681​. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Strodtbeck, Fred L., et al. “Social Status in Jury Deliberations.” ​American Sociological Review​, vol. 22, no. 6, 1957, pp. 713–719. ​JSTOR​, www.jstor.org/stable/2089202. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020. Weinstein, Jack B. ​“Considering Jury Nullification: When May and Should a Jury Reject the Law to Do Justice.” ​American Criminal Law Review, ​vol. 239, pp. 239-254. HeinOnline​. Accessed 8 Sept. 2020.


Despite Historical Prejudice, the LGBTQ+ Community Has Rights, as They Deserve Author Hector Hernandez-Martinez, He/Him Clovis North High School, Class of 2021 Fresnos, CA Mentor Emily Goldenberg JD Candidate Stanford Law School Editor Zoe Tseng, She/Her Brookline High School, Class of 2021 Brookline, MA Reviewer Mason Kortz Clinical Instructor Harvard Law School Cyber Law Clinic



Introduction The United States’ government runs on the democratifc belief that every individual is

represented equally. The Constitution and its Amendments grant American citizens rights and liberties in order to balance the power between the government and its people. Within these grants of rights and liberties, the Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment guarantee the American people the right to life, liberty, property, and equal protection under the law. These rights are enforced through the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. Americans’ understanding of these rights and their enforcement have developed over time. Despite that, historical evidence demonstrates that the American government has not always abided by the democratic ideals embodied in the Constitution. Since the country’s independence, there has been a separation between people due to differences in race, gender, religion, and more. An idea as simple as an individual’s privacy right, for example, was not declared a fundamental right until 1965 in ​Griswold v Connecticut10 ​ ​, but popularized by ​Roe v. Wade​.11​ ​ The Supreme Court ruled that the Due Process Clause includes a fundamental right to privacy, and through that right, the ability to have an abortion. ​Roe​ began the precedent of fighting for the right to privacy, upon which other rights like sexual orientation, should be based. Prior to the 21​st ​century, the American government overlooked the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and more (LGBTQ+) community and their rights. The LGBTQ+ community lacked proper representation, as prejudice against the community popularized. As a result, many people in the community experienced, and to this day still do experience, trauma from others acting on their prejudice. This is not something any human should undergo. ​In G ​ riswold v Connecticut​, Lee Buxton and Estelle Griswold filed suit for being arrested for opening a birth clinic. The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a married couple’s privacy to buy contraceptives. 11 ​in ​Roe v. Wade​, a woman filed suit against Henry Wade, challenging a Texas law that held abortion illgeal. Roe stated that the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendment protected her right to personal privacy. 10


As awareness about the community’s constant suffering began to spread, the American government also started to grant rights LGBTQ+ people deserve. Even though there is still a great gap, the community’s rights have expanded in the American governing system slowly relative to those of heterosexual people. Nevertheless, many Americans believe the expansion of those rights is morally incorrect. As a member of the community, sexual orientation and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community are private matters that when made public, have caused distress to the community over time. For that reason, sexual orientation is a personal affair, not to be interfered by the preference or opinions of others, but protected and covered by force of law.


A Shift in Society’s Views A transformation in society’s perception of the LGBTQ+ community can be traced by

observing the development of homophobia and discrimination over time. At first, there was no separate community to label people with different sexual orientations. Starting in the time of the Roman Empire, we can see evidence that homophobia was not always a part of society. For instance, one of the great Roman Emperors Adrian, had a homosexual lover by the name of Antinuous. After Antinuous’s death, Adrian ordered for statues to be erected in his name, granting his late lover the status of a god. This demonstrates the kind of respect Romans held for each other; honoring each other’s lives and achievements, despite differences of sexual orientation. Additionally, ancient Greeks actively practiced gender nonconformity; many lived part of their lives as a different gender than the one assigned at birth. There is also evidence of the presence of the transgender community in ancient India’s Hindu and religious texts. ​Prior to the Middle Ages and the rise of the Roman Catholic Church, homosexuality was not considered wrong by many European cultures. After about 1000 AD, though, the Church persecuted 22

homosexuals, often killing them during inquisitions. ​As a result, as Europeans began to explore, their beliefs expanded with them, normalizing their ideology of superiority in the New World. The European settlers in present-day United States ruled through the lens of a combination of church and state, deeming their laws to be of nonsecular purposes. Therefore, in 1649, the first two women convicted for lesbian behavior occurred in Massachussets: the court ruled the sexual interaction to be “lewd.” Evidently, prejudice against homosexuals formed into a social construct with the enforcement of these laws. Furthermore, the suppression of certain types of sexual intercourse was also popularized. For instance, Thomas Jefferson revised a Virginia bill which deemed sodomy, between men and women, to be punishable by mutilation, not death. The enforcement of such laws against the heterosexual population soon halted, while the homosexual community continued to suffer from discrimination. The tides seemed to turn some for the LGBTQ+ community in the 20​th​ century. The Stonewall Riots of 1969 birthed the modern LGBTQ+ Movements which have pushed towards equality. One of these actions being the establishment of LGBT National Help Center and Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Finally, the 21​st​ century has become a battleground for the war on the LGBTQ+ community and their rights. Many states have acknowledged the community’s presence in society. For instance, in 2002, New York expanded the definition of “gender” to represent those who are transgender or do not conform to a gender. The presence of homophobia today developed with the advancement of societies and the spread of their ideologies.


Supreme Court Decisions Over Time Tracing the evolution of the American Supreme Court’s jurisprudence over time allows

us to see the evolution of the LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. For example, in 1986, Michael Hardwick was caught in a consensual, sexual act with another man in the bedroom of 23

his own home. At the time, Georgia Code 16-6-2 held homosexual sodomy illegal. Thus, Hardwick was arrested. In his appeal to the Supreme Court, the Court stated that the Constitution did not outline protection for acts of homosexual sodomy, allowing the states to outlaw such practices. At the turn of the 21​st​ century, however, the American government began to slowly grant and uphold the LGBTQ+ community the rights they deserve. For example, in 2003, in ​Lawrence v. Texas​,​ ​the Supreme Court overruled its 1986 decision in ​Bowers v. Hardwick. ​The facts in Lawrence​ were similar to those in ​Bowers. ​John Lawrence and Tyron Garner were found together in the middle of a consensual, sexual act in a private residence. Police arrested them because a Texas statute outlawed homosexual sodomy. However, when evaluating the question this time around, the Supreme Court ruled that the statute violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In other words, it infringed certain people’s rights to life and liberty, deeming it facially discriminatory. Additionally, one can conclude that such statute violates the Equal Protection Clause as it discrimminates against those with an attraction towards a member of the same sex. Justice Kennedy, the author of the majority opinion, held that adults have the liberty to commit consensual sexual acts privately as part of their right to privacy. The ruling set a precedent for future cases wherein Justice Kennedy continued to expand his argument. In ​U.S v. Windsor​, the Court again ruled against the discrimination of homosexual couples. Under President Bill Clinton, in 1996, Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which made it impossible, under federal law, for same-sex married partners to receive recognition as legal spouses. Edith Windsor was granted her wife’s estate. However, she was not allowed to claim the estate tax exemption; thus, her appeal to the Supreme Court in 2013. Justice Kennedy again authored the majority opinion, deeming DOMA to be unconstitutional due to a


violation of the Equal Protection granted by the Fifth Amendment– the effect of DOMA imposed injustice, and disadvantage between Americans. Though still not quite equal to the rights of the heterosexual population, the homosexual community gained large representation during these years. Today, the LGBTQ+ community’s rights and liberties are seen to be more expansive. After the Court’s decision in ​Windsor​, it seemed that the Court was much more willing to take greater strides in expanding the LGBTQ+ community’s rights. In 2015, ​Obergefell v. Hodges became a landmark case for the community as the right to same-sex marriage was finally enacted. The Supreme Court held that prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying was a violation of the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Kennedy authored the Court’s majority opinion, deciding that marriage is recognized as a fundamental right, and withholding fundamental rights is a violation of the Constitution. As recently as June 2020, the Court protected employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protected employees from employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, and national origin. The court ruled that employment discrimination against “sex” is a but-for cause of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In other words, when an employer discriminates against a gay or transgender employee, the employer holds prejudice against the person’s sex. The Supreme Court’s decisions evince that individuals’ rights are of Constitutional importance. Given that the Constitution rules the American governing system, the Supreme Court’s opinions heavily influence the United States’ citizens. Furthermore, as the right to privacy was established in 1973, it became one individual's fight for the recognition of it.


Following the Court granting the right to privacy, people’s liberties have expanded, upholding everyone to the same standard. Nevertheless, if it wasn’t for the 1969 Stonewall Riots, and the great LGBTQ+ activists, the community would not be at the stage it is held at today.


My Experience Gay and living in California has not been as easy as some may expect. Though the law

demonstrates progression of the LGBTQ+ community’s rights, society has not internalized the idea that sexual orientation is a private matter. Because of this, homophobia is still prevalent today. Present-day society developed a construct where the homosexual is pressured to “declare” their sexuality to a heteronormative culture. The idea of “coming out” harms individuals in the community as it forces us to tell the world, only to be rejected by it, afterwards. If everyone accepted the idea of keeping sexual orientation a private matter, then tensions between the heterosexual and queer population decrease. Declaring sexuality should never be obligatory- not for homosexual people, nor for heterosexual people. Coming out my freshman year of high school formed a difficult experience due to the backlash it brought throughout the rest of my four years. Having to tell the rest of the school my sexuality called for a re-examination of how my classmates and anyone else perceived me. Many people supported me, but many did not. My closest experience with homophobia occurred with my volleyball team. As a junior varsity star my freshman year, the team considered me an asset and the coach appointed me as team captain. Playing a sport and being competitive at it justified reasons for my team members not to hold prejudice against me. However, it all changed my first year as a varsity player. Once they realized they did not need me, they turned homophobic. My teammates’ homophobia began to appear when I became less of a key player. As a first substitute, I was no longer team captain 26

or part of the starting line up. This offered my teammates a reason to disrespect me, and they often used homophobic comments. Returning to the starting line-up the following year, however, my status upgraded. On the court I was a team player, but once the game ended, my status returned back to “sin”; it became apparent that their attitude of homophobia was one of convenience. My experience shows that still, in 21​st​ century California, prejudice overrides acceptance. The struggle for respect in the LGBTQ+ community is real when one’s privacy becomes public. Despite great legal advances, the community and the queer population has a long way to go. Furthermore, the inconsistency in my teammates’ homophobia evinces that sexuality is not a big deal, rather it is one of personal business. Finally, if one was not forced to announce their sexual orientation, this artificial reason to hate homophobia would cease to exist.

V. Conclusion The rights of the LGBTQ+ community have expanded in the American governing system over time to mirror those of heterosexual people. Nevertheless, many Americans believe the granting of those rights is morally incorrect. I think that sexual orientation and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community are private matters that when made public, have caused distress to the community. Historical evidence shows that homophobia developed over time, it was not always something humans concerned themselves with or frowned upon. The social construct developed through European settlers as the same-sex relations normalized in other societies were seen as foreign and alien to the settlers. This ideology spread throughout the New World, especially in the United States. Rejecting the LGBTQ+ community means overlooking their rights as fellow humans. If one’s sexual orientation was maintained as a private matter, differences in


perspective, and moral arguments about LGBTQ+ rights would not exist at the legal level. At the end of the day, we are all humans worthy of dignity and respect.


Bibliography "A Brief History of Transgenders in India." I​ ndian Institute of Legal Studies​. ​Indian Institute of Legal Studies​, www.iilsindia.com/blogs/brief-history-transgenders-india/. Accessed 13 Sept. 2020. "Bostock v. Clayton County." ​Oyez,​ www.oyez.org/cases/2019/17-1618. Accessed 13 Sep. 2020. "Bowers v. Hardwick." ​Oyez,​ www.oyez.org/cases/1985/85-140. Accessed 13 Sep. 2020. "Roe v. Wade." ​Oyez,​ www.oyez.org/cases/1971/70-18. Accessed 13 Sep. 2020. GLSEN. "LGBTQ History Timeline Reference." ​GLSEN​, ​www.glsen.org/sites/default/​files /LGBTQ-History-Timeline-References.pdf. Accessed 13 Sept. 2020. "Lawrence v. Texas." ​Oyez,​ www.oyez.org/cases/2002/02-102. Accessed 13 Sep. 2020. Morris, Bonnie J. "History of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Social Movements." American Psychological Association​, Jasper Simmons, 2009 w ​ ww.apa​.org/pi/lgbt/reso urces/history. Accessed 13 Sept. 2020. "Obergefell v. Hodges." ​Oyez,​ www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556. Accessed 13 Sep. 2020. "United States v. Windsor." ​Oyez,​ www.oyez.org/cases/2012/12-307. Accessed 13 Sep. 2020.


Why American Nuclear Research Flourished During World War II Author Sophie Roy, She/Her Brookline High School, Class of 2021 Brookline, MA Mentor Oyeshiku Carr World History Teacher Brookline High School Editor Naomi Weisner, She/Her Brookline High School, Class of 2021 Brookline, MA Reviewer Zagreb Mukerjee Research Fellow under Gary King Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science


Despite the years of taxing and confidential research that went into the developing the atomic bomb, the US has only ever used nuclear weapons twice in history—both times taking place during World War II (“WWII”) over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945.​12​ Although no nuclear weapons have been used since, many countries today continue to invest immense resources into further developing and stockpiling nuclear weapons. At the start of WWII, US scientists and military officials were not adamant about dropping a bomb of such magnitude, especially since it had never been done before and it was quite costly and time-consuming.​13​ Instead, they believed that Germany was well-ahead of them in developing a similar weapon after the results of Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner’s experiment were released.​14​ The fear of enemy possession of an atomic bomb in WWII galvanized scientists around the world and accelerated American scientific research into developing nuclear weaponry, resulting in the US to become the first nation to drop an atomic bomb. The discovery of nuclear fission, one year before the outbreak of WWII, could not have come at a more opportune time in the world of physics. On December 16, 1938, Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner conducted a humble experiment in Berlin, Germany where they laced pieces of uranium beside another radioactive element.​15​ What happened after was thought to have been impossible in the scientific community: the neutrons emitted from the radioactive elements bombarded uranium atoms, causing these atoms to “split in two”.​16​ A single atom splitting might seem rather small-scale, yet it was an incredible discovery for scientists at the time. Shocked by their experiment results, Hahn and Meitner wrote a letter to the well-respected Danish physicist Neils History.com Editors. “Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, November 18, 2009. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/bombing-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki.(Accessed... 13 “Science Behind the Atom Bomb.” Atomic Heritage Foundation, June 5, 2014. https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/science-behind-atom-bomb. (Accessed March 10, 2020). 14 SteveSheinkin,. Bomb: the Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon. New York: Square Fish, 2018. p. 32. 15 ​Ibid,. p. 17. 16 ​Ibid,. p. 18. 12


Bohr who was thrilled to hear that their experiment supported his theory of an atom’s behavior being similar to that of a “wobbly droplet”.​17​ Bohr excitedly took the news to a physics conference in Washington D.C. where the news reached J. Robert Oppenheimer, an American theoretical physicist and professor at University of Berkeley who today is known as the “father of the atomic bomb.”​18 American scientists quickly recognized the possibility that the United States was already behind German scientists in nuclear research after the discovery of nuclear fission. Eugene Wigner and Leo Szilard, two Hungarian-American physicists, estimated that each uranium atom would release enough energy to make a grain of sand jump when bombarded by a neutron. Yet there are 100 quintillion uranium atoms in a single ounce, meaning that extremely high amounts of energy could be released from a twenty to fifty pound lump of uranium.​19​ Wigner and Szilard were not the only scientists at the time to recognize the potential role that fission could play in constructing powerful bombs, but they were the first to believe that Germany had already started the process of building an atom bomb and that the United States was behind in this regard.​20​ The two suspected that Hitler had ordered German scientists to cease publication of their research, which would only make sense if scientists were working on a bomb in secret.​21​ Furthermore, Germany stopped selling uranium from Czechoslovakian mines, causing Wigner and Szilard to believe that they were stockpiling the radioactive material used in Hahn and Meitner’s experiment—another indication that Germany was well ahead of the US in collecting material as well.​22 Ibid. p. 19. “J. Robert Oppenheimer.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, April 23, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Robert_Oppenheimer#cite_note-102​. 19 Sheinkin. “Bomb”p. 22. 20 Ibid,. p. 30. 21 Ibid. p. 31. 22 Sheinkin. “Bomb”p. 22. 17 18


Wigner and Szilard were the first to draw political attention and a sense of urgency to the initiation of a national atomic bomb project. Determined to get the message to Franklin D. Roosevelt, they convinced world-renowned scientist Albert Einstein about the threat of the Germans constructing an atomic bomb.​23​ Although Einstein was a pacifist and did not support war, he agreed that the consequences of Germany building a bomb before the US would be dire.​24​ Einstein later said, "Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I would have never lifted a finger.”​25​ The two drafted a letter with Einstein to Roosevelt urging the government to obtain as much uranium as possible and speed up experimental work by employing a team of physicists.​26​ Einstein concludes the letter by stating, “I understand that Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium from Czechoslovakia mines which she has taken over. That she should have taken such early action might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsäcker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.”​27 Upon receiving Einstein’s warnings Roosevelt took immediate action to gather a group of individuals who could figure out the basics of how an atomic bomb would function, and how to construct it. Roosevelt asked Lyman J. Briggs, the director of the National Bureau of Standards, to organize an Advisory Committee on uranium composed of both civilian and military representation.​28

​Ibid Ibid. p. 36. 25 “Albert Einstein.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, May 9, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein. 26 ​Ibid. 27 ​“Einstein–Szilárd Letter.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, December 27, 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein–Szilárd_letter#/media/File:Einstein-Roosevelt-letter.png. 28 Sheinkin. “Bomb”. p. 37-38. 23



The scientists on the committee completed a lot of innovative work and concluded that enriched samples of uranium-235 were necessary for further research. Despite their humble budget of $6000 initially, the uranium Committee was able to perform many useful experiments which helped determine the best method for isotope separation—they tested a variety of different methods ranging from using electromagnetic waves, gaseous diffusion, centrifuges, and liquid thermal diffusion to separate these isotopes which would act as fuel for a bomb.​29​ All of these methods were at the initial stage of development and were highly experimental, so none of them could be applied to the making of an actual atom bomb until scientists in the early stages of the Manhattan Project obtained enough resources. In their first report issued on November 1, 1939, they recommended that, despite the uncertainty of success, the government should immediately obtain four tons of graphite and fifty tons of uranium oxide.​30​ Furthermore, the uranium Committee recommended that the government fund research on isotope separation as well as Enrico Fermi's and Szilard's cutting-edge work on chain reactions, both of which would later become very important for building the first prototype for the bomb in Los Alamos as part of the Manhattan Project.​31 The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor heightened the franticness for the Allied Powers to halt the threat of a nuclear attack before they focused on the Pacific front of the war. On December 7, 1941, a Japanese aerial striking force flew over the island of Oahu and launched a surprise assault on multiple military installations on the naval base on the southern part of the island.​32​ Although the Japanese did not use nuclear weaponry, they caused a great deal of “Science Behind the Atom Bomb.” Ibid 31 “History.” Atomic Heritage Foundation. https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/security-and-secrecyhttps://www.atomicheritage.org/history/s-1-committee. (Accessed March 10, 2020). 32 ​LoProto, Mark, and Name *. "America's Response to Pearl Harbor – An Unexpected First Target." Visit Pearl Harbor. September 25, 2020. Accessed October 13, 2020. https://visitpearlharbor.org/americas-response-pearl-harbor-unexpected-first-target/. 29 30


damage to the US naval base. The following day Rosevelt made the decision to declare war on Japan, and in response Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.​33​ Roosevelt realized that the US would be forced to simultaneously fight opposing troops in Europe and the Pacific, but because Germany had acquired much more territory than Japan in the Atlantic and were far more militarily advanced, German threat of attack posed as a greater threat to the safety of the United States.​34​ Realizing the time crunch that the Allied powers were under, Prime Minister Winston Churchill worked closely with Roosevelt on a “Germany First” war strategy, hoping to prevent the United States from having to divide resources between Europe and the Pacific.​35​ The two agreed to have their scientists work together and pool information so that they would be able to construct the bomb faster. The two decided to set up a top-secret project called the Manhattan Project in which the top scientists from both countries could perform larger-scale experiments in the US.​36 The Manhattan project scientists were finally able to move away from more theoretical work and work with fission on a physical level, which allowed them to start testing prototypes for the bomb. Enrico Fermi, an Italian-American physicist working on the Manhattan Project, constructed an experiment with other scientists to build a self-sustaining nuclear reactor that could be controlled; which was essential in any sort of developing a successful bomb.​37​ They used black blocks of graphite with uranium-filled holes; the graphite being used to slow down speeding neutrons totalled approximately 1 million dollars worth of materials.​38​ Not only was Fermi’s experiment cutting-edge, but it was also quite dangerous. If these fission reactions happened too fast and were unable to be controlled, the nuclear reactor would likely explode, Ibid. LoProto, Mark, and Name *. "America's Response to Pearl Harbor – An Unexpected First Target." 35 ​Ibid. 36 Sheinkin,. “Bomb”:. p. 50. 37 The Manhattan Project. https://www.pitt.edu/~sdb14/atombomb.html. (Accessed March 10, 2020). 38 Ibid. 33 34


harming all scientists nearby.​39​ Fermi’s experiment ended very successfully, marking the first demonstration of a controlled release of atomic power. Shortly after scientists learned to construct and control a nuclear reaction, they built their first prototype bomb nicknamed “Gadget” that was detonated 210 miles south of Los Alamos as part of the “Trinity Test”.​40​ In under a month, the next two bombs constructed were dropped in Japan.​41 The pressure-cooker environment that existed during the race to build the bomb ultimately brought together scientists, and pushed them to work as efficiently as possible to protect the Allied Powers from the imminent threat of a German nuclear attack. As a result, American scientific research when developing nuclear weaponry thrived both during and after WWII. Following the Allied victory, the United States emerged as one of the two dominant world superpowers--the other being Russia, and both countries continued to generously fund additional nuclear research which ultimately led to an intense power struggle between the two nations.​42​ The successful explosions of these bombs also marked the start of the Nuclear Age--the period of time characterized by nuclear energy as a major and global military, industrial, and sociopolitical factor.​43​ Today we live in a world that has been redefined by the introduction of nuclear weapons in WWII, and where military strength is directly related to nuclear power.

Ibid. “Manhattan Project: The Trinity Test”, July 16, 1945. https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Events/1945/trinity.htm. (Accessed March 10, 2020). 41 History.com Editors. “Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” 42 Pruitt, Sarah. “The Hiroshima Bombing Didn't Just End WWII-It Kick-Started the Cold War.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, December 19, 2018. https://www.history.com/news/hiroshima-nagasaki-bombing-wwii-cold-war. 43 Ibid. 39 40


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LoProto, Mark, and Name *. "America's Response to Pearl Harbor – An Unexpected First Target." Visit Pearl Harbor. September 25, 2020. Accessed October 13, 2020. https://visitpearlharbor.org/americas-response-pearl-harbor-unexpected-first-target/. “Manhattan Project: The Trinity Test”, July 16, 1945. https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan-project-history/Events/1945/trinity.htm. (Accessed March 10, 2020). Pruitt, Sarah. “The Hiroshima Bombing Didn't Just End WWII-It Kick-Started the Cold War.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, December 19, 2018. https://www.history.com/news/hiroshima-nagasaki-bombing-wwii-cold-war. Rhodes, Richard. Dark Sun: the Making of the Hydrogen Bomb.​ New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. “Science Behind the Atom Bomb.” Atomic Heritage Foundation, June 5, 2014. https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/science-behind-atom-bomb. (Accessed March 10, 2020). Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: the Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon. New York: Square Fish, 2018. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Manhattan Project.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., January 16, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/event/Manhattan-Project. (Accessed March 10, 2020). History.com Editors. “Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, November 18, 2009. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/bombing-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki. History.com editors. “The First Atomic Bomb Test Is Successfully Exploded.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, July 15, 2010. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-first-atomic-bomb-test-is-successfully-ex ploded. (Accessed March 10, 2020).