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Does Unconscious Racial Bias Affect Trial Judges

dc.contributor.authorGuthrie, Chris
dc.contributor.authorRachlinski, Jeffrey John
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, Sheri Lynn
dc.contributor.authorWistrich, Andrew J.
dc.identifier.citation84 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1195 (2008-2009)en_US
dc.description.abstractRace matters in the criminal justice system. Black defendants appear to fare worse than similarly situated white defendants. Why? Implicit bias is one possibility. Researchers, using a well-known measure called the implicit association test, have found that most white Americans harbor implicit bias toward Black Americans. Do judges, who are professionally committed to egalitarian norms, hold these same implicit biases? And if so, do these biases account for racially disparate outcomes in the criminal justice system? We explored these two research questions in a multi-part study involving a large sample of trial judges drawn from around the country. Our results - which are both discouraging and encouraging - raise profound issues for courts and society. We find that judges harbor the same kinds of implicit biases as others; that these biases can influence their judgment; but that given sufficient motivation, judges can compensate for the influence of these biases.en_US
dc.format.extent1 document (53 pages)en_US
dc.publisherNotre Dame Law Reviewen_US
dc.subject.lcshJudges -- United Statesen_US
dc.subject.lcshDiscrimination in justice administration -- United Statesen_US
dc.subject.lcshRace discrimination -- Law and legislation -- United Statesen_US
dc.titleDoes Unconscious Racial Bias Affect Trial Judgesen_US

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