Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

That might depend on your race. New research (ungated version here) from Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer, and Randi Hjalmarsson uses data from criminal trials and finds “strong evidence that all-white juries acquit whites more often and are less favorable to black versus white defendants when compared to juries with at least one black member.” While perhaps not shocking, their research has meaningful implications: “Our findings speak to the substantial impact that variation in the composition of the jury pool can have on trial outcomes. If, for example, the jury pool in Sarasota County was 10 or 20 percent black instead of the 3 percent observed in the data, conviction rates for black defendants would be much lower and those for white defendants much higher than those observed in the data.”? [%comments]

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

 

COMMENTS: 20

View All Comments »
  1. satch says:

    to paul d what the heck do you think blacks were going to vote for racial code word speaking sarah palin?rush, beck and the racist tea party folks is why we will keep on supporting him.when gas was 4-5 dollars a gallon where was the tea party then?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. Jesse says:

    The responses pointing out that blacks commit responses is a good example of possible reasoning used by those who have created this bias. Shouldn’t we presume equal guilt if one is already being charged of a crime? It’s not as if people are being randomly picked off the street and charged with random crimes.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Jesse says:

    I meant the response that mentioned blacks commit more crimes

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. Frank says:

    Based on my experience on 2 juries, the real issue is whether or not the jurors believe in “innocent till proven guilty”. Think this isn’t an issue? In one trial, after being told in a video and by the judge, prosecutor, and defense that being charged meant nothing, 3 people agreed with the statement that the defendant had to be guilty of something or they wouldn’t be on trial.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0