'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: Will rapprochement mean new research collaborations between Cuba and the U.S.?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ear-check via phone can ease path to diagnosis

Dec 18, 2014

Ear infections are common in babies and young children. That it is a frequent reason for young children's visit to doctors comes as no consolation for the parents of babies tugging at their ears and crying ...

Recommended for you

Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

Dec 17, 2014

The three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land, scientists concluded in a recent study.

User comments : 0

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.