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Self-Fulfilling Impressions of Criminality: Unintentional Race Profiling

30 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2004  

Nicholas L. Georgakopoulos

Indiana University - Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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Abstract

A society divides into a majority and a minority; each group may erroneously believe the other to be more crime prone. An investigating authority that is proportionately composed, will tend to investigate the minority disproportionately. Despite unbiased courts, the minority will be overrepresented in the group of the convicted, fostering the false perception. Moreover, the minority, in order to avoid the burden of investigations, may be led to prefer to decriminalize conducts which the majority would punish. Finally, the biased impression of criminality also polarizes the allocation of enforcement or the intensity of minority policing. Normative implications include a discussion of injunctive relief, police hiring, the funding of public defenders, and federal highway policing on the basis of the commerce clause.

Keywords: Fourth amendment, race profiling, police brutality, Grutter v. Boltreger, Brown v. City of Oneonta

JEL Classification: D31, H11, J7, K00, K31

Suggested Citation

Georgakopoulos, Nicholas L., Self-Fulfilling Impressions of Criminality: Unintentional Race Profiling. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=462900 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.462900

Nicholas L. Georgakopoulos (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.nicholasgeorgakopoulos.org

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