5 Pages Posted: 10 May 2006
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.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Johnson, Sheri Lynn and Eberhardt, Jennifer L. and Davies, Paul G. and Purdie-Vaughns, Valerie J., Looking Deathworthy: Perceived Stereotypicality of Black Defendants Predicts Capital-Sentencing Outcomes. Psychological Science, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 383-386, May 2006; Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=901453