Race-crime congruency in the Canadian context
We examined whether cases in which the defendant's race was congruent with a race-stereotypic crime would result in more guilty verdicts and different responsibility attributions. Canadian jury-eligible participants read 1 of 3 fictional trial transcripts in which we varied the race of the defendant (Black, White, or Aboriginal Canadian). We hypothesised that the Black defendant would receive the harshest treatment in an auto theft case, the White defendant in a fraud case, and the Aboriginal Canadian defendant in a case of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Results demonstrated only modest evidence of a congruency effect for these crimes. Although there was a Race X Crime Type interaction, the patterns in verdict decisions diverged from previous work on race-crime stereotypes. There were no differences in verdict breakdowns for the White defendant. Although the Black defendant received a greater proportion of guilty verdicts for the auto theft trial than dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, verdict decisions did not significantly differ when compared with the fraud trial. For the Aboriginal Canadian defendant, the only verdict difference was a greater proportion of guilty verdicts in the auto theft than in the fraud trial. Future researchers should examine a potential interaction with juror race when considering crime congruency.
|Keywords||Crime congruency, Crime type, Defendant race, Juror decision making, Stereotypes|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science|
Maeder, E.M, Yamamoto, S. (Susan), McManus, L.A. (Laura A.), & Capaldi, C.A. (Colin A.). (2016). Race-crime congruency in the Canadian context. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 48(2), 162–170. doi:10.1037/cbs0000045