Implicit Bias & Judges

A recent criminal justice-related article in The New York Times touches on implicit bias.

Some excerpts:

But studies suggest that implicit bias, rather than explicit racism, is behind many recent tragedies. Indeed, simulator experiments show that the biggest danger posed to young African-American men may not be hate-filled cops, but well-intentioned police officers exposed to pervasive, damaging stereotypes that link the concepts of blackness and violence.

Likewise, Americans have been sold a myth that there are two kinds of judges — umpires and activists — and that being unbiased is a choice that a person makes. But the truth is that all judges are swayed by countless forces beyond their conscious awareness or control. It should have no impact on your case, for instance, whether your parole hearing is scheduled first thing in the morning or right before lunch, but when scientists looked at real parole boards, they found that judges were far more likely to grant petitions at the beginning of the day than they were midmorning.

 

The full article is available here.

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