Mapping the Racial Bias of the White Male Capital Juror: Jury Composition and the 'Empathic Divide'

34 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2009 Last revised: 28 Jan 2014

See all articles by Mona Lynch

Mona Lynch

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Craig Haney

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Psychology

Date Written: July 28, 2009

Abstract

This paper examines, in depth, the interactions between race and gender of juror and race of defendant in a simulated capital penalty-phase trial setting where participants were assigned to small group juries. As we have reported earlier (Lynch and Haney, 2009), white men mock jurors, as a group, were significantly influenced by race of defendant in making their capital sentencing decisions, in contrast to women and non-white mock jurors. Using quantitative data collected from our participants, we examine the white, male jurors’ evaluation of the case evidence and perceptions of the defendant to provide a fuller account of how their responses differ as a function of the race of defendant in the case.

Keywords: death penalty, jury decision-making, race, experiment

Suggested Citation

Lynch, Mona and Haney, Craig, Mapping the Racial Bias of the White Male Capital Juror: Jury Composition and the 'Empathic Divide' (July 28, 2009). Law and Society Review, 2011, 45, 69-102 ; CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1439973

Mona Lynch (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society ( email )

2340 Social Ecology 2, RM
Irvine, CA 92697
United States

Craig Haney

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Psychology ( email )

273 Social Sciences 2
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States

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