Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Jury Decision Making

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37 Scopus citations


This article reviews a growing body of social science research indicating that race, ethnicity, and culture can influence the judgments and behaviors of juries. The first section addresses research on jury bias, which shows that jurors often make harsher judgments of defendants from other racial and ethnic groups and are more likely to give death sentences in cases involving Black or Latino defendants and White victims. However, these effects are moderated by several factors related to the trial parties, context, and crime. Further, juror bias often involves subtle or implicit psychological processes that can be difficult to recognize and correct. The second section discusses research conceptualizing jurors as agentic forces whose judgments and behaviors may reflect their racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. This work shows that jurors' backgrounds may influence their reactions to defendants, trial judgments, and deliberation behaviors. The final section offers recommendations for future research in these areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-288
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Law and Social Science
StatePublished - Nov 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright ©2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


  • Criminal conviction
  • Death penalty
  • Deliberation
  • Ethnic discrimination
  • Ethnic groups
  • Implicit bias
  • Race discrimination
  • Racial groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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