Modern Psychological Studies
1 & 2
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Many studies have investigated factors that affect juror decision making. The results of these studies vary. This study was designed to examine the effect of race of jurors on their perceptions of guilt in a criminal case, and whether or not race of the defendant influenced the juror's perception of guilt. College students served as participants and were asked to read a summary of a criminal case in which the defendant was in possession of marijuana. The race of the defendant was varied (black, white, or race not specified) and subjects were required to determine if the defendant was guilty of simple possession, or guilty of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. It was hypothesized that the black defendant would be found guilty of the distribution charge more frequently than the white defendant or the defendant whose race was not specified. However, a chi-square analysis indicated that the frequency of convictions was not dependent on race of defendant. It was also hypothesized that white participants would convict the defendant of the distribution charge more frequently than black participants. Results of a chi-square analysis supported this hypothesis at the .01 level. These results indicate that race of a juror may affect perception of guilt in a criminal case. Implications of this study are important in terms of juror decision making and what it means to be tried by a jury of ones peers.
BF1 .M63 v. 9 no. 1 & 2 2003
Bradshaw, G. S.
"Juror perception: criminal verdicts based on race,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 9
, Article 9.
Available at: http://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol9/iss1/9