'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: One of world's earliest Christian charms found

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Evidence for supernovas near Earth

Aug 27, 2014

Once every 50 years, more or less, a massive star explodes somewhere in the Milky Way. The resulting blast is terrifyingly powerful, pumping out more energy in a split second than the sun emits in a million ...

The devastating spread of the mountain pine beetle

Aug 27, 2014

When the mountain pine beetle began blazing a path across forests in British Columbia and Alberta, nobody could have imagined the extent of the damage to come. But as the insect devastated pine forests and ...

Recommended for you

One of world's earliest Christian charms found

10 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A 1,500 year-old papyrus fragment found in The University of Manchester's John Rylands Library has been identified as one the world's earliest surviving Christian charms.

How does your wine make you feel?

Aug 29, 2014

University of Adelaide researchers are investigating the links between wine, where it's consumed and emotion to help the Australian wine industry gain deeper consumer insights into their products.

User comments : 0