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Vanderbilt University Law School

2009

Series

Judges

Discrimination in justice administration

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

Does Unconscious Racial Bias Affect Trial Judges?, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Sheri Lynn Johnson, Andrew J. Wistrich Jan 2009

Does Unconscious Racial Bias Affect Trial Judges?, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Sheri Lynn Johnson, Andrew J. Wistrich

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Race 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 ...