Document Type



Published in: Psychological Science, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 383-386, May 2006


Researchers previously have investigated the role of race in capital sentencing, and in particular, whether the race of the defendant or victim influences the likelihood of a death sentence. In the present study, we examined whether the likelihood of being sentenced to death is influenced by the degree to which a Black defendant is perceived to have a stereotypically Black appearance. Controlling for a wide array of factors, we found that in cases involving a White victim, the more stereotypically Black a defendant is perceived to be, the more likely that person is to be sentenced to death.

Date of Authorship for this Version

May 2006


Capital punishment, Race

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Criminal Law Commons