The implicit red patches on skin not itchy racial bias in sentencing the next frontier – race, racism and the law

A prominent life scientist recently declared that the higgs boson red patches on skin not itchy particle, the internet, and implicit bias are the three most important discoveries of red patches on skin not itchy the past half-century. In president obama’s commencement address at howard university last year, obama stated: “and we knew … That even the good cops with the best of intentions–including, by the way, african-american police officers–might have unconscious biases, as we all do.” why has implicit racial bias worked its way into a red patches on skin not itchy presidential address? More importantly, after focusing so long on explicit biases, what do we need to know and do about the red patches on skin not itchy pervasive problem of implicit racial bias in the courtroom?

As I and many others, including professor L. Song richardson, argue, implicit racial bias is now the most pervasive problem affecting red patches on skin not itchy the criminal justice system. In her review of nicole gonzalez van cleve’s book crook county: racism and injustice in america’s largest criminal court, professor richardson eloquently discusses the explicit racial bias that van red patches on skin not itchy cleve vividly portrays happening in cook county, illinois courtrooms. As professor richardson, in her insightful critique, reveals, the pernicious and invisible-to-the-naked-eye effects of implicit bias in the shadows of the red patches on skin not itchy courtrooms and courthouses in cook county–which gonzalez van cleve does not address–present the more vexing problems. While the structural racial bias resulting from the “systemic triage” that professor richardson explores is an urgent problem, so too is the next frontier–the emerging discovery of implicit racial bias arising out of red patches on skin not itchy the relationship between skin tone, afrocentric features, and sentencing.

Social scientists, academics, lawyers, judges, and court administrators have recently demonstrated a heightened interest in red patches on skin not itchy implicit bias. While the recognition and limited study of implicit racial bias red patches on skin not itchy in the courtroom is not much older than the discovery red patches on skin not itchy of the higgs boson, at least one criminal defense lawyer recognized it in a red patches on skin not itchy motion for new trial nearly ninety years ago. Lena olive smith–the first black female member of the minnesota bar, a renowned civil rights lawyer of her time, and one of my personal heroes–called attention to the racial dynamics of a 1928 state red patches on skin not itchy court prosecution in which a black man was tried for red patches on skin not itchy raping a white woman before an all-white jury. In a motion for a new trial, smith wrote:

The court fully realizes I am sure, that the very fact that the defendant was a colored red patches on skin not itchy boy and the prosecutrix a white woman, and the entire panel composed of white men–there was a delicate situation to begin with, and counsel for the state took advantage of this delicate red patches on skin not itchy situation …. [P]erhaps [the jurors] were, with a few exceptions, conscientious in their expressions [of no race prejudice]; yet it is common knowledge a feeling can be so red patches on skin not itchy dormant and subjected to one’s sub-consciousness, that one is wholly ignorant of its existence. But if the proper stimulus is applied, it comes to the front, and more often than not one is deceived in believing red patches on skin not itchy that it is justice speaking to him; when in fact it is prejudice, blinding him to all justice and fairness.

Three critical points articulated by professor richardson are important to red patches on skin not itchy reiterate. First, implicit racial bias and other implicit biases exist even, and sometimes particularly, in egalitarian individuals. In fact, such individuals are less likely to be aware of these red patches on skin not itchy implicit biases, because they lack explicit biases. I am a prime example. Given my personal relationships and professional background as a former red patches on skin not itchy civil rights attorney, I did not consider myself racially biased. You can imagine how shocked I was, after taking my first black/white implicit association test (IAT) more than a decade ago, to discover I had strong anti-black implicit biases. Second, the effects of implicit biases in the courtroom are invisible red patches on skin not itchy to the naked eye. Finally, professor richardson is correct that, in extremely busy courts like cook county, illinois, where courtroom participants are overwhelmed with more cases than proper red patches on skin not itchy resources, such conditions create a rich environment for systemic implicit racial red patches on skin not itchy biases to thrive and infect every aspect of courtroom criminal red patches on skin not itchy proceedings. Professor richardson astutely observes that multi-tasking courtroom professionals in cook county and other overwhelmed criminal red patches on skin not itchy courts face time pressures that prompt them to make quick red patches on skin not itchy discretionary decisions–“the classic situations in which implicit biases are likely to red patches on skin not itchy influence decisions and judgments.” however, the corollary is not true. No cognitive social scientist or implicit bias scholar has suggested red patches on skin not itchy that implicit biases arise only when there are severe time red patches on skin not itchy pressures. Thus, it would be unwise to assume implicit bias in courtrooms red patches on skin not itchy exists in pittsburgh, but not pocatello, and in chicago, but not chico.

In this essay, I will first briefly discuss the IAT and its objective red patches on skin not itchy role as the most recognized, studied, and accepted test in revealing implicit racial bias. Next, I turn to cognitive blind spots, especially judicial blind spots, that lead to implicit racial bias in sentencing. Cutting edge empirical studies of inmate populations in several states red patches on skin not itchy strongly suggest implicit racial bias contributes to increases in the red patches on skin not itchy length of sentences based on offenders’ darker skin tone and more pronounced afrocentric features.

Professor gonzalez van cleve’s ethnography, crook county: racism and injustice in america’s largest criminal court, reveals massive overt racism in the criminal courts of cook red patches on skin not itchy county. Professor richardson’s critique of the book establishes that, in addition to overt racism, there are more serious problems of implicit racial bias in red patches on skin not itchy the criminal justice system that professor gonzalez van cleve did red patches on skin not itchy not address. I fully concur and offer my own critique that, at least for sentencing discrimination, the new frontier in empirical research strongly suggests that skin red patches on skin not itchy tone and afrocentric facial features are important and crucial variables red patches on skin not itchy underlying implicit racial bias. As cognitive social scientists and members of the academy explore red patches on skin not itchy this new frontier, and as judges are educated and informed about the effects red patches on skin not itchy of skin tone and afrocentric features in judicial decision-making, it is my hope that these important issues will be red patches on skin not itchy lifted from the shadows of american courtrooms and judges’ subconsciousness.

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