Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-m8s7h Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-25T01:55:40.773Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

3 - Diversity and Bias in Legal Decision-Making

Broadening Frameworks and Addressing Overlooked Issues

from Part I - Introduction Chapters

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2024

Monica K. Miller
Affiliation:
University of Nevada, Reno
Logan A. Yelderman
Affiliation:
Prairie View A & M University, Texas
Matthew T. Huss
Affiliation:
Creighton University, Omaha
Jason A. Cantone
Affiliation:
George Mason University, Virginia
Get access

Summary

Biases in decision-making based on race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, and other social identities are pervasive in the criminal justice and legal systems. Likewise, the positionality of legal actors and lay people from diverse groups both influences and constrains legally relevant judgments. This chapter uses a case study of racially biased judgments in the criminal justice and legal systems to illustrate how judgment processes can lead to unequal outcomes across social groups. It then describes ways in which law-psychology can expand research on diversity in legal decision-making, addressing issues related to social class, discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, and reproductive decision-making by women. It also discusses frameworks and perspectives that provide valuable insights on legal decision-making but which often are overlooked by psycholegal scholars, including intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, and the abolition movement. The chapter concludes by examining the limits of a decision-making framework for understanding unequal outcomes in legally relevant contexts, which frequently are the result of structural and implicit biases in addition to deliberate judgments.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abshire, J., & Bornstein, B. H. (2003). Juror sensitivity to the cross-race effect. Law and Human Behavior, 27(5), 471480. https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1025481905861.Google Scholar
ACLU. (2022). Mapping attacks on LGBTQ rights in US state legislatures. www.aclu.org/legislation-affecting-lgbtq-rights-across-country.Google Scholar
Alexander, M. (2010). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. The New Press.Google Scholar
Anderson, L. A., O’Brien Caughy, M., & Owen, M. T. (2021). “The talk” and parenting while Black in America: Centering race, resistance, and refuge. Journal of Black Psychology, 48(3–4), 475506. https://doi.org/10.1177/00957984211034294.Google Scholar
Armenta, A., & Vega, I. I. (2017). Latinos and the crimmigration system. Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance, 22, 221236. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1521-613620170000022017.Google Scholar
Baumgartner, F. R., Epp, D. A., & Shoub, K. (2018). Suspect citizens: What 20 million traffic stops tell us about policing and race. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 ___ (Supreme Court 2020).Google Scholar
Bottoms, B. L., Peter‐Hagene, L. C., Stevenson, M. C., et al. (2014). Explaining gender differences in jurors’ reactions to child sexual assault cases. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 32(6), 789812. https://doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2147.Google Scholar
Bowers, W. J., Brewer, T. W., & Sandys, M. (2004). Crossing racial boundaries: A closer look at the roots of racial bias in capital sentencing when the defendant is black and the victim is white. DePaul Law Review, 53(4), 14971538.Google Scholar
Bowers, W. J., Steiner, B. D., & Sandys, M. (2001). Death sentencing in black and white: An empirical analysis of the role of jurors’ race and jury racial composition. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, 3, 171274.Google Scholar
Bradbury, M. D., & Williams, M. R. (2013). Diversity and citizen participation: The effect of race on juror decision making. Administration & Society, 45(5), 563582. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095399712459729.Google Scholar
Brassel, S. T., Davis, T. M., Jones, M. K., et al. (2020). The importance of intersectionality for research on the sexual harassment of Black queer women at work. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 6(4), 383391. https://doi.org/10.1037/tps0000261.Google Scholar
Caravelis, C., Chiricos, T., & Bales, W. (2011). Static and dynamic indicators of minority threat in sentencing outcomes: A multi-level analysis. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 27(4), 405425. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10940-011-9130-1.Google Scholar
Carson, E. A. (2021). Prisoners in 2020 – Statistical tables (NCJ 302776). Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/p20st.pdf.Google Scholar
Catalyst. (2020). Women in the Workforce: United States. www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-the-workforce-united-states/Google Scholar
Clair, M. (2020). Privilege and punishment: How race and class matter in criminal court. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Crenshaw, K. W. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989, 139167.Google Scholar
Davis, A. Y., Dent, G., Meiners, E. R., & Richie, B. E. (2022). Abolition. Feminism. Now. Haymarket Books.Google Scholar
Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2017). Critical race theory: An introduction (3rd ed.). New York University Press.Google Scholar
Desmond, M., & Western, B. (2018). Poverty in America: New directions and debates. Annual Review of Sociology, 44, 305318. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-060116-053411.Google Scholar
Devine, D. J., & Caughlin, D. E. (2014). Do they matter? A meta-analytic investigation of individual characteristics and guilt judgments. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 20(2), 109134. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000006.Google Scholar
Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization, 597 ___ (Supreme Court 2022).Google Scholar
Edkins, V. A. (2011). Defense attorney plea recommendations and client race: Does zealous representation apply equally to all? Law and Human Behavior, 35(5), 413425. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10979-010-9254-0.Google Scholar
Eubanks, V. (2018). Automating inequality: How high-tech tools profile, police, and punish the poor. Picador.Google Scholar
Frase, R. S. (2019). Forty years of American sentencing guidelines: What have we learned? Crime and Justice, 48, 79129. https://doi.org/10.1086/701503.Google Scholar
Freiburger, T. L., & Sheeran, A. M. (2020). The joint effects of race, ethnicity, gender, and age on the incarceration and sentence length decisions. Race and Justice, 10(2), 203222. https://doi.org/10.1177/2153368717739676.Google Scholar
Glaser, J., Martin, K. D., & Kahn, K. B. (2015). Possibility of death sentence has divergent effect on verdicts for Black and White defendants. Law and Human Behavior, 39(6), 539546. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000146.Google Scholar
Gonzalez Van Cleve, N. (2016). Crook county: Racism and injustice in America’s largest criminal court. Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Goodman, J. D. (2022, March 11, 2022). How medical care for transgender youth became “child abuse” in Texas. New York Times. www.nytimes.com/2022/03/11/us/texas-transgender-youth-medical-care-abuse.html?searchResultPosition=7.Google Scholar
Goodwin, M. (2020). Policing the womb: Invisible women and the criminalization of motherhood. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Harris, C. I. (1993). Whiteness as property. Harvard Law Review, 106, 17071791.Google Scholar
Herek, G. M., & McLemore, K. A. (2013). Sexual prejudice. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 309333. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143826.Google Scholar
Hill Collins, P., & Bilge, S. (2020). Intersectionality (2nd ed.). Polity Press.Google Scholar
Hoekstra, M. S., & Sloan, C. W. (2022). Does race matter for police use of force? Evidence from 911 calls. American Economic Review, 112(3), 827860. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.20201292.Google Scholar
Hunt, J. S. (2021, May). Documenting racial bias: The gap between experimental and archival research on criminal verdicts and sentencing. [Paper presentation]. Law and Society Association, virtual meeting.Google Scholar
Hunt, J. S. (2023). Injustice in the courtroom: How race and ethnicity affect legal outcomes. In DeMatteo, D. & Scherr, K. (Eds.), Oxford handbook of psychology and law (Vol. 2, pp. 742765). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Hunt, J. S., Jenkins, B., & LeGrand, A. (2022, March). A terrible loss or a crime? How mock jurors think about the criminalization of miscarriage. American Psychology-Law Society.Google Scholar
Johnson, J. D., Adams, M. S., Hall, W., & Ashburn, L. (1997). Race, media, and violence: Differential racial effects of exposure to violent news stories. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 19(1), 8190. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15324834basp1901_6.Google Scholar
Johnson, S. L. (2020). The influence of Latino ethnicity on the imposition of the death penalty. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 16, 421431. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-042220-111211.Google Scholar
Kahn, K. B., & Davies, P. G. (2017). What influences shooter bias? The effects of suspect race, neighborhood, and clothing on decisions to shoot. Journal of Social Issues, 73(4), 723743. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12245.Google Scholar
Kahn, K. B., Steele, J. S., McMahon, J. M., & Stewart, G. (2017). How suspect race affects police use of force in an interaction over time. Law and Human Behavior, 41(2), 117126. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000218.Google Scholar
Kang, J., Bennett, M., Carbado, D., et al. (2012). Implicit bias in the courtroom. UCLA Law Review, 59, 11241186.Google Scholar
King, R. D., & Light, M. T. (2019). Have racial and ethnic disparities in sentencing declined? Crime & Justice, 48, 365437. https://doi.org/10.1086/701505.Google Scholar
Kirk, D. S., & Wakefield, S. (2018). Collateral consequences of punishment: A critical review and path forward. Annual Review of Criminology, 1, 171194. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-criminol-032317-092045.Google Scholar
Koch, A. J., D’Mello, S. D., & Sackett, P. R. (2015). A meta-analysis of gender stereotypes and bias in experimental simulations of employment decision making. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(1), 128161. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036734.Google Scholar
Kurlychek, M. C., & Johnson, B. D. (2019). Cumulative disadvantage in the American criminal justice system. Annual Review of Criminology, 2, 291319. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-criminol-011518-024815.Google Scholar
Lawrence III, C. R. (1987). The id, the ego, and equal protection: Reckoning with unconscious racism. Stanford Law Review, 39, 317388. https://doi.org/10.2307/1228797.Google Scholar
Lehmann, P. S., & Gomez, A. I. (2021). Split sentencing in Florida: Race/ethnicity, gender, age, and the mitigation of prison sentence length. American Journal of Criminal Justice: AJCJ, 46(2), 345376. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12103-020-09550-4.Google Scholar
Levinson, J. D., Smith, R. J., & Young, D. M. (2014). Devaluing death: An empirical study of implicit racial bias on jury-eligible citizens in six death penalty states. New York University Law Review, 89, 513581.Google Scholar
Levinson, J. D., & Young, D. M. (2010). Different shades of bias: Skin tone, implicit racial bias, and judgments of ambiguous evidence. West Virginia Law Review, 112, 307350.Google Scholar
Lynch, M., & Haney, C. (2009). Capital jury deliberation: Effects on death sentencing, comprehension, and discrimination. Law and Human Behavior, 33(6), 481496. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10979-008-9168-2.Google Scholar
Lynch, M., & Haney, C. (2011). Mapping the racial bias of the white male capital juror: Jury composition and the “empathic divide.Law & Society Review, 45(1), 69102. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5893.2011.00428.x.Google Scholar
Ma, D. S., Correll, J., Wittenbrink, B., et al. (2013). When fatigue turns deadly: The association between fatigue and racial bias in the decision to shoot. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 35(6), 515524. https://doi.org/10.1080/01973533.2013.840630.Google Scholar
Maeder, E. M., Yamamoto, S., & McManus, L. A. (2015). Race salience in Canada: Testing multiple manipulations and target races. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 21(4), 442451. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000057.Google Scholar
Martinez, B. P., Petersen, N., & Omori, M. (2020). Time, money, and punishment: Institutional racial-ethnic inequalities in pretrial detention and case outcomes. Crime and Delinquency, 66(6–7), 837863. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011128719881600.Google Scholar
Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 ___ (Supreme Court 2017).Google Scholar
McCormick-Huhn, K., Warner, L. R., Settles, I. H., & Shields, S. A. (2019). What if psychology took intersectionality seriously? Changing how psychologists think about participants. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 43(4), 445456. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684319866430.Google Scholar
Mekawi, Y., & Bresin, K. (2015). Is the evidence from racial bias shooting task studies a smoking gun? Results from a meta-analysis. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 61, 120130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2015.08.002.Google Scholar
Mekawi, Y., Bresin, K., & Hunter, C. D. (2019). Dehumanization of African-Americans influences racial shooter biases. Race and Social Problems, 11(4), 299307. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-019-09267-y.Google Scholar
Mitchell, T. L., Haw, R. M., Pfeifer, J. E., & Meissner, C. A. (2005). Racial bias in mock juror decision-making: A meta-analytic review of defendant treatment. Law and Human Behavior, 29(6), 621637. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10979-005-8122-9.Google Scholar
Movement Advancement Project. (2022). Identity document laws and policies. www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/identity_document_laws/birth_certificate.Google Scholar
New York Civil Liberties Union. (2019). Stop-and-frisk in the de Blasio era. www.nyclu.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/20190314_nyclu_stopfrisk_singles.pdf.Google Scholar
Nosek, B. A., Smyth, F. L., Hansen, J. J., et al. (2007). Pervasiveness and correlates of implicit attitudes and stereotypes. European Review of Social Psychology, 18, 3688. https://doi.org/10.1080/10463280701489053.Google Scholar
O’Brien, B., & Grosso, C. M. (2020). Criminal trials and reforms intended to reduce the impact of race: A review. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 16, 117130. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-042020-111040.Google Scholar
O’Brien, B., Grosso, C. M., Woodworth, G., & Taylor, A. (2016). Untangling the role of race in capital charging and sentencing in North Carolina. North Carolina Law Review, 94, 19972045.Google Scholar
Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 644 (Supreme Court 2015).Google Scholar
Page, J., & Scott-Hayward, C. S. (2022). Bail and pretrial justice in the United States: A field of possibility. Annual Review of Criminology, 5(1), 91113. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-criminol-030920-093024.Google Scholar
Peck, J. H. (2015). Minority perceptions of the police: A state-of-the-art review. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 38(1), 173203. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-01-2015-0001.Google Scholar
Phelan, J. E., & Rudman, L. A. (2010). Prejudice toward female leaders: Backlash effects and women’s impression management dilemma. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4(10), 807820. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00306.x.Google Scholar
Quinn, E. A., Skinner‐Dorkenoo, A. L., & Wages III, J. E. (2021). Affective disgust predicts blame for gay male homicide victims. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 51(11), 10491060. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12820.Google Scholar
Redlich, A. D., Bibas, S., Edkins, V. A., & Madon, S. (2017). The psychology of defendant plea decision making. American Psychologist, 72(4), 339352. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0040436.Google Scholar
Rehavi, M. M., & Starr, S. B. (2014). Racial disparity in federal criminal sentences. Journal of Political Economy, 122(6), 1320. https://doi.org/10.1086/677255.Google Scholar
Roe v. Wade, 410 113 (Supreme Court 1973).Google Scholar
Rotundo, M., Nguyen, D.-H., & Sackett, P. R. (2001). A meta-analytic review of gender differences in perceptions of sexual harassment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(5), 914922. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.86.5.914.Google Scholar
Saguy, A. C., & Rees, M. E. (2021). Gender, power, and harassment: Sociology in the #MetToo era. Annual Review of Sociology, 47, 417435. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-090320-031147.Google Scholar
Salerno, J. M. (2021). The impact of experienced and expressed emotion on legal factfinding. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 17(1), 181203. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-021721-072326.Google Scholar
Salerno, J. M., Kulak, K., Smalarz, L., et al. (2023). The role of social desirability and establishing non-racist credentials on mock juror decisions about Black defendants. Law and Human Behavior, 47(1), 100118. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000496.Google Scholar
Salerno, J. M., Peter-Hagene, L. C., & Jay, A. C. V. (2019). Women and African Americans are less influential when they express anger during group decision making. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 22(1), 5779. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430217702967.Google Scholar
Salter, P. S., Adams, G., & Perez, M. J. (2018). Racism in the structure of everyday worlds: A cultural-psychological perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(3), 150155. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721417724239.Google Scholar
Schlesinger, T. (2011). The failure of race neutral policies: How mandatory terms and sentencing enhancements contribute to mass racialized incarceration. Crime & Delinquency, 57(1), 5681. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011128708323629.Google Scholar
Semel, E., Downard, D., Tolman, E., et al. (2020). Whitewashing the jury box: How California perpetuates the discriminatory exclusion of Black and Latinx jurors. www.law.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Whitewashing-the-Jury-Box.pdfGoogle Scholar
Shatz, S. F., Pierce, G. L., & Radelet, M. L. (2020). Race, ethnicity, and the death penalty in San Diego County: The predictable consequences of excessive discretion. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 51, 10701098.Google Scholar
Shaw, E. V., Lynch, M., Laguna, S., & Frenda, S. J. (2021). Race, witness credibility, and jury deliberation in a simulated drug trafficking trial. Law and Human Behavior, 45(3), 215228. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000449.Google Scholar
Skorinko, J. L., & Spellman, B. A. (2013). Stereotypic crimes: How group-crime associations affect memory and (sometimes) verdicts and sentencing. Victims & Offenders, 8(3), 278307. https://doi.org/10.1080/15564886.2012.755140.Google Scholar
Sommers, S. R., & Ellsworth, P. C. (2001). White juror bias: An investigation of prejudice against Black defendants in the American courtroom. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 7(1), 201229. https://doi.org/10.1037/1076-8971.7.1.201.Google Scholar
Steffensmeier, D., Ulmer, J., & Kramer, J. (1998). The interaction of race, gender, and age in criminal sentencing: The punishment cost of being young, Black and male. Criminology, 36(4), 763797. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.1998.tb01265.x.Google Scholar
Thuma, E. L. (2019). All our trials: Prisons, policing, and the feminist fight to end violence. University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
Ulmer, J. T., & Konefal, K. (2019). Sentencing the other: Punishment of Latinx defendants. UCLA Law Review, 66, 17161761.Google Scholar
Welch, K. (2007). Black criminal stereotypes and racial profiling. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 23(3), 276288. https://doi.org/10.1177/1043986207306870.Google Scholar
Yamamoto, S., & Maeder, E. M. (2017). Defendant and juror race in a necessity case: An ultimate attribution error. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 15(3), 270284. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15377938.2017.1347542.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×