Browsing College of Social and Behavioral Sciences by Author "Liles, Gina"
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ItemRacial Bias in the Courtroom: The Prevalence of Racial Bias against Hispanic and Asian Individuals as Seen in Mock Civil Court Verdicts and Sentencing(2023) Liles, GinaThe voir dire process is dutied with providing an impartial jury, as it is a defendant’s constitutional right (U.S. Const. amend. VI). However, implicit and explicit biases are too often allowed to infiltrate civil and criminal court proceedings, ultimately leading to severe consequences for minority defendants. The present study aimed to fill a gap in the research regarding the implications of racial bias in a civil court setting with Hispanic and Asian defendants. A survey containing a mock civil court case created by the researcher was administered to 143 participants. It measured participants’ opinions on verdict, sentencing, and level of culpability when presented with either a Hispanic or Asian defendant. A racial bias screening was administered to measure participants’ racial attitudes. The results of the study showed that Hispanic defendants received more attribution of culpability than Asian defendants regardless of the participants’ results on the racial bias screening. Those who failed the racial bias screening were more likely to provide a harsher verdict and attribute a higher level of culpability to the Hispanic defendant. This research highlights the gravity of racial bias within civil court contexts, specifically against Hispanic defendants.