Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

U.S. District Court Produces Video, Drafts Jury Instructions on Implicit Bias

By Judge Theresa Doyle

We all have biases. These unconscious, instantaneous, almost automatic judgments can help us get through the day. However, when those unconscious biases stereotype a person because of race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age or other qualities, they are no longer helpful but harmful to the right to a fair trial.

Results of the widely taken Implicit Association Test (IAT) and other research show a high and nearly universal preference of whites over blacks.1 Even with African-American test-takers, 40 percent showed a pro-white preference. Jurors bring these biases to court when they report for jury service.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court case,...

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