Looking deathworthy: Perceived stereotypicality of Black defendants predicts capital-sentencing outcomes.

Eberhardt JL, Davies PG, Purdie-Vaughns VJ, Johnson SL (2006) Looking deathworthy: Perceived stereotypicality of Black defendants predicts capital-sentencing outcomes. Psychological Science 17: 383–386.

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 defen- dant is perceived to have a stereotypically Black appear- ance. Controlling for a wide array of factors, we found that in cases involving a White victim, the more stereo- typically Black a defendant is perceived to be, the more likely that person is to be sentenced to death.

http://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&context=lsrp_papers