Document Type



Edgar M. Cullen Prize Paper. (J. Mashaw, J. Macey, T. Meares) (Best paper by a 1st year student)


This Note examines, through an experimental design, whether juror biases against black defendants are explained by aversive racism theory or social identity theory and whether procedural justice can be used to decrease biases. The Note also examines whether the timing of debiasing jury instructions affects judgments of guilt. The experiment finds that pre- evidence instructions result in lower judgments of guilt than post-evidence instructions. In addition, aversive racism theory, but not social identity theory or procedural justice, explains guilt judgments. The experiment has implications for both the content and timing of jury instructions in trials.

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