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Sounding guilty: How accent bias affects juror judgments of culpability
Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice  (IF),  Pub Date : 2019-06-19, DOI: 10.1080/15377938.2019.1623963
Jason A. Cantone, Leslie N. Martinez, Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, Taija Miller

Abstract Black Americans and Mexican Americans have faced continued cultural stereotypes, as well as more punitive outcomes, within the judicial system. Very little research has explored whether minority defendants with stereotypical accents face additional discrimination. The current study investigated the role of race and accent bias on juror decisions for Black, Mexican American, or White defendants in a negligence case. Results indicated that while Black and Mexican American defendants were found more negligent than White defendants, Black defendants were judged more negatively than White and Mexican American defendants, especially when the Black defendant had a stereotypical accent. The results offer important legal considerations that attorneys must make when deciding whether or not to recommend that the defendant testify.