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Paper Topic:

What role does race play in criminal sentencing


Squire , C Newhouse , J (2003 . Racial effects in sentencing : The influence of facial features and skin tone . UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research , VI ,1-5

This article describes the different theories that may have influenced racial bias in sentencing individuals . The basis of the theory of the other-race effect was explained through four hypotheses that may have possibly influenced such concept of other individuals . The contact hypothesis is associated with the frequency of interaction with a certain ethnic group , resulting in stronger recognition of individuals of that same ethnic

group . Another hypothesis involved simple prejudice over an ethnic group to which an individual does not belong to . The out-group hypothesis involves segregation of individuals of different features that are common to another ethnic group . Physiognomy has also been suggested to influence the other-race theory and this is mainly involved in differences in the facial features of individuals of known ethnic groups . A 2 X 2 factorial test was performed using physiognomy and skin tone as the independent variables . The perception of each participant of each test individual 's guilt and duration of sentence was employed as the dependent variable . In this study , computer-generated photographs of different individuals were employed and the facial features were combined with different skin tones . The research showed that race , as represented by the skin tone of the individuals in the photos , was the only and main factor that induced a person in sentencing a person as guilty , as well as lengthening the duration of...

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