CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kang et al. on Implicit Bias in the Courtroom

Jerry Kang , Mark W. Bennett , Devon W. Carbado , Pamela Casey , Nilanjana Dasgupta , David L. Faigman , Rachel D. Godsil , Anthony G. Greenwald , Justin D. Levinson and Jennifer Mnookin (University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law , affiliation not provided to SSRN , University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law , affiliation not provided to SSRN , University of Massachusetts at Amherst - Psychology , UC Hastings College of the Law , Seton Hall University - School of Law , University of Washington - Graduate Department of Psychology , University of Hawaii at Manoa - William S. Richardson School of Law and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law) have posted Implicit Bias in the Courtroom (UCLA Law Review, Vol. 59, No. 5, 2012) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Given the substantial and growing scientific literature on implicit bias, the time has now come to confront a critical question: What, if anything, should we do about implicit bias in the courtroom? The author team comprises legal academics, scientists, researchers, and even a sitting federal judge who seek to answer this question in accordance with “behavioral realism.” The Article first provides a succinct scientific introduction to implicit bias, with some important theoretical clarifications that distinguish between explicit, implicit, and structural forms of bias. Next, the article applies the science to two trajectories of bias relevant to the courtroom. One story follows a criminal defendant path; the other story follows a civil employment discrimination path. This application involves not only a focused scientific review but also a step-by-step examination of how criminal and civil trials proceed. Finally, the Article examines various concrete intervention strategies to counter implicit biases for key players in the justice system, such as the judge and jury.

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