Research demonstrates that juror race may interact with defendant race to influence decision-making, but little work has investigated interactions with eyewitness race. This study tested whether Black/White jurors would produce different perceptions/decisions when faced with a Black/White defendant identified by a Black/White eyewitness. We also examined the influence of expert testimony regarding the cross-race effect in two floating cells. Mock jurors read a trial transcript, provided a verdict and trial party ratings, and indicated perceived race salience. Black jurors were more likely to convict a White defendant identified by a Black eyewitness than a Black defendant identified by a White eyewitness. Expert testimony was valued more highly when the defendant was Black, but had no direct influence on verdict; however, it raised race salience perceptions (as did presence of Black trial parties). Perceived race salience was associated with lower rates of conviction, suggesting that race and expert testimony have potential courtroom implications.

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Keywords defendant race, expert testimony, eyewitness race, juror decision-making, race salience
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Journal Criminal Justice and Behavior
Maeder, E.M, & Ewanation, L. (Logan). (2018). What Makes Race Salient? Juror Decision-Making in Same-Race Versus Cross-Race Identification Scenarios and the Influence of Expert Testimony. Criminal Justice and Behavior. doi:10.1177/0093854818776998