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The Effects of Ethnicity, SES, and Crime Status on Juror Decision Making

The Effects of Ethnicity, SES, and Crime Status on Juror Decision Making In two studies, a defendant's ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), and crime status were varied for effects on verdict decisions, sentencing recommendations, culpability assignments, and trait assessments. In Study 1, European Americans (N = 221) provided a low SES Mexican American defendant with more guilt verdicts, a lengthier sentence, and higher culpability ratings, compared to a high SES Mexican American or a European American defendant, regardless of crime status. Higher negative trait ratings occurred for a low SES Mexican American who committed a low status crime. In Study 2, Mexican Americans (N = 136) showed no differences for guilt verdicts, recommended sentence, or culpability assignment. These findings demonstrate that European American bias toward Mexican Americans may operate in all phases of the legal process, and future research should address specific contexts where bias applies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences SAGE

The Effects of Ethnicity, SES, and Crime Status on Juror Decision Making

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References (38)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0739-9863
eISSN
1552-6364
DOI
10.1177/0739986308315319
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In two studies, a defendant's ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), and crime status were varied for effects on verdict decisions, sentencing recommendations, culpability assignments, and trait assessments. In Study 1, European Americans (N = 221) provided a low SES Mexican American defendant with more guilt verdicts, a lengthier sentence, and higher culpability ratings, compared to a high SES Mexican American or a European American defendant, regardless of crime status. Higher negative trait ratings occurred for a low SES Mexican American who committed a low status crime. In Study 2, Mexican Americans (N = 136) showed no differences for guilt verdicts, recommended sentence, or culpability assignment. These findings demonstrate that European American bias toward Mexican Americans may operate in all phases of the legal process, and future research should address specific contexts where bias applies.

Journal

Hispanic Journal of Behavioral SciencesSAGE

Published: May 1, 2008

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