Evaluation of the race card strategy: The importance of supporting evidence

Date
2007
Authors
Hart, Christian L.
Lopez, Edward P.
Griffith, James D.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Boise State University
Abstract

The role that racial issues play in the courtroom has been studied in terms of the effect of salient racial variables on juror perceptions and decision- making. However, no prior research examined the effects of using charges of racial bias by police officers as a criminal defense strategy. The “race card” strategy can be defined as the introduction of salient racial variables in an attempt to sway attitudes and beliefs of jurors or judges. In these two experiments, subjects reviewed fictional criminal case summaries in which the race card strategy was or was not used. Furthermore, evidence supporting the defendant claims of racial bias was introduced in some of the cases. The results indicated that when a defendant claimed arrest because of racial bias by the arresting officer, those claims resulted in significant reductions in juror perceptions of guilt. However, claims of racial bias were only effective when the defense produced further evidence supporting claims of racist attitudes or behaviors by the arresting officer

Description
Article originally published in Journal of Credibility Assessment and Witness Psychology, 8, 1-9. English. Published online 2007 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237321712
Keywords
Criminal defense strategy, Racial variables, Racial bias
Citation
This is the published version of an article that is available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237321712. Recommended citation:Hart, C. L., Lopez, E. P., & Griffith, J. D. (2007). Evaluation of the race card strategy: The importance of supporting evidence. Journal of Credibility Assessment and Witness Psychology, 8, 1-9. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.