The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials
AbstractThis paper examines the impact of jury racial composition on trial outcomes using a unique data set of felony trials in Florida between 2000 and 2010. We utilize a research design that exploits day-to-day variation in the composition of the jury pool to isolate quasi-random variation in the composition of the seated jury, finding evidence that: (i) juries formed from all-white jury pools convict black defendants significantly (16 percentage points) more often than white defendants and (ii) this gap in conviction rates is entirely eliminated when the jury pool includes at least one black member. The impact of jury race is much greater than what a simple correlation of the race of the seated jury and conviction rates would suggest. These findings imply that the application of justice is highly uneven and raise obvious concerns about the fairness of trials in jurisdictions with a small proportion of blacks in the jury pool.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16366.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Shamena Anwar & Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2012. "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 1017-1055.
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Other versions of this item:
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
- K0 - Law and Economics - - General
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
- K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
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- Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2004.
"An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1464, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2006. "An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 127-151, March.
- Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2005. "An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mustard, David B, 2001. "Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal Courts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 285-314, April.
- Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2013. "Still Not Allowed on the Bus: It Matters If You're Black or White!," IZA Discussion Papers 7300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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