Racial Bias in Criminal Justice

Eberhardt_Ima_smallUnconscious biases toward African Americans still produce major inequities in the criminal justice system. Using statistical analyses, Jennifer Eberhardt has documented how racially coded features, such as a defendant’s skin color and hair texture, influence jurors’ decisions and the sentences that judges hand down. For example, she’s shown that jurors are more likely to recommend the death penalty for defendants whose features are stereotypically “black.” And she’s demonstrated that police officers are more likely to mistakenly identify black faces as criminal compared to white faces. In 2014, Eberhardt’s worked earned her the prestigious “genius” fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation.

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.