Looking Deathworthy: Perceived Stereotypicality of Black Defendants Predicts Capital-Sentencing Outcomes
Sheri Lynn Johnson
Cornell Law School
Jennifer L. Eberhardt
Paul G. Davies
University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Psychology
Valerie J. Purdie-Vaughns
Yale University - Department of Psychology
Psychological Science, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 383-386, May 2006
Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-012
Researchers previously have investigated the role of race in capital sentencing, and in particular, whether the race of the defendant or victim influences the likelihood of a death sentence. In the present study, we examined whether the likelihood of being sentenced to death is influenced by the degree to which a Black defendant is perceived to have a stereotypically Black appearance. Controlling for a wide array of factors, we found that in cases involving a White victim, the more stereotypically Black a defendant is perceived to be, the more likely that person is to be sentenced to death.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Date posted: May 10, 2006
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