'Black looking' features may affect juries

May 25, 2006

A study suggests men with ''black-looking'' features are more likely to get a U.S. death sentence than other people found guilty of killing a white person.

But Stanford University researchers say the relationship between physical appearance and the death sentence disappears when both murderers and their victims are black.

''Race clearly matters in criminal justice in ways in which people may or may not be consciously aware,'' said Jennifer Eberhardt, associate professor of psychology. ''When black defendants are accused of killing whites, perhaps jurors use the degree to which these defendants appear stereotypically black as a proxy for criminality, and then punish accordingly.''

Eberhardt's findings are published in the May issue of the journal Psychological Science, co-written with Cornell University Law Professor Sheri Lynn Johnson; and with former graduate students Paul Davies, now an assistant professor at the University of California-Los Angeles; and Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, now a Yale University assistant professor.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ethics of research not so black and white

Related Stories

Ethics of research not so black and white

July 31, 2015

With federally funded research under growing scrutiny from the public, researchers face more pressure than ever to defend their work and make ethical decisions regarding their research process. However, a new study from sociologists ...

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

Are we born racist? Bias expert answers timely questions

July 28, 2015

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, PhD, professor of psychology and Richard & Rhoda Goldman distinguished professor of social sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, recently co-edited a book called Are We Born Racist?: ...

Recommended for you

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top ...

French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

July 28, 2015

A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.