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Example:10.1021/acsami.1c06204 or Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 2411-2502
Race, witness credibility, and jury deliberation in a simulated drug trafficking trial.
Law and Human Behavior  (IF3.795),  Pub Date : 2021-06-01, DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000449
Emily V Shaw,Mona Lynch,Sofia Laguna,Steven J Frenda

OBJECTIVE The present study integrates several distinct lines of jury decision-making research by examining how the racial identities of the defendant and an informant witness interact in a federal drug conspiracy trial scenario and by assessing whether jurors' individual racial identity and jury group racial composition influence their judgments. HYPOTHESES We predicted that jurors would be biased against the Black defendant and would be more likely to convict after exposure to a White informant, among other hypotheses. METHOD We recruited 822 nonstudent jury-eligible participants assigned to 144 jury groups. Each group was assigned to one of four onditions where defendant race (Black or White) and informant race (Black or White) was manipulated. Each group watched a realistic audio-visual trial presentation, then deliberated as a group to render a verdict. RESULTS Contrary to expectations, the conditions depicting a Black defendant yielded lower conviction rates compared to those with a White defendant-at both the predeliberation individual (odds ratio [OR] = 1.54) and postdeliberation group level (OR = 2.91)-while the informant race did not influence verdict outcomes. We also found that jurors rated the government witnesses as more credible when the defendant was White compared to when he was Black. Credibility ratings and verdict outcomes were also predicted by jurors' own race, although juror race did not interact with the race conditions when predicting verdicts. CONCLUSIONS Jurors are sensitive to defendant race, and this sensitivity appears to strengthen after deliberation-but in a direction opposite to what was expected. One potential implication of our findings is that juries may operate as a check on system bias by applying greater scrutiny to law enforcement-derived evidence when the defendant is Black. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).