Previous research has investigated the influence of several defendant characteristics on mock juror decision-making, but to date, no published research has examined the effect of a defendant's alleged gang membership on verdict decisions. The current study sought to investigate this effect, as well as how it might interact with the defendant's race. One hundred and five participants read a trial transcript involving a robbery case, in which the defendant was depicted as White, Black, or Aboriginal Canadian. In half of the transcripts, the arresting officer testified that the defendant was a known member of a gang. Results demonstrated that in general, participants judged the defendant more harshly when he was a gang member, but only when he was Black. When the defendant was depicted as White, no differences emerged as a function of alleged gang membership. Most interestingly, when the defendant was Aboriginal Canadian, participants treated him less harshly when he was an alleged gang member than when no such allegation was made.

Additional Metadata
Keywords defendant gang affiliation, defendant race, juror bias, juror decision-making
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/13218719.2011.633330
Journal Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Citation
Maeder, E.M, & Burdett, J. (Joel). (2013). The Combined Effect of Defendant Race and Alleged Gang Affiliation on Mock Juror Decision-Making. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 20(2), 188–201. doi:10.1080/13218719.2011.633330