Implicit Racial Bias across the Law

Implicit Racial Bias across the Law

By: Justin D. Levinson (editor), Robert J. Smith (editor)Paperback

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Despite cultural progress in reducing overt acts of racism, stark racial disparities continue to define American life. This book is for anyone who wonders why race still matters and is interested in what emerging social science can contribute to the discussion. The book explores how scientific evidence on the human mind might help to explain why racial equality is so elusive. This new evidence reveals how human mental machinery can be skewed by lurking stereotypes, often bending to accommodate hidden biases reinforced by years of social learning. Through the lens of these powerful and pervasive implicit racial attitudes and stereotypes, Implicit Racial Bias across the Law examines both the continued subordination of historically disadvantaged groups and the legal system's complicity in the subordination.

About Author

Justin D. Levinson is Associate Professor of Law and founding Director of the Culture and Jury Project at the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law. Levinson's research explores the challenges to efficient decision making, particularly in the context of implicit racial and gender stereotypes. He has authored numerous articles and conducted empirical studies on implicit bias, including on implicit gender bias in the legal profession, skin tone bias in the evaluation of criminal evidence, and the implicit presumption of guilt for black males, among others. He has also written about issues of cultural psychology and economic decision making. Levinson previously practised corporate and securities law at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati in Palo Alto, California, where he counseled technology companies at various stages of development. Robert J. Smith is Visiting Assistant Professor at DePaul University College of Law, where he teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. He previously served as the legal and policy advisor to Harvard Law School's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute and represented death sentenced inmates as a staff attorney at the Louisiana Capital Appeals Project. He has authored or co-authored articles in the Boston University Law Review, the Washington Law Review, the Case Western Reserve Law Review, the Louisiana Law Review, the Southern University Law Review, Harvard Law and Policy Review Online, the Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy and the Michigan Law Review - First Impressions.


1. Implicit racial bias: a social science overview Justin D. Levinson, Danielle M. Young and Laurie A. Rudman; 2. Property law: implicit bias and the resilience of spatial color lines Michele Wilde Anderson and Victoria C. Plaut; 3. Criminal law and procedure: coloring punishment: implicit social cognition and criminal justice Charles Ogletree, Robert J. Smith and Johanna Wald; 4. Torts: implicit bias inspired torts Deana Pollard Sacks; 5. Employment law: implicit bias in employment litigation Nancy Gertner and Melissa Hart; 6. Health law: cognitive bias in medical decision making Michele Goodwin and Naomi Duke; 7. Education law: unconscious racism and the conversation about the racial achievement gap Charles R. Lawrence, III; 8. Communications law: bits of bias Jerry Kang; 9. Corporations: biased corporate decision making? Justin D. Levinson; 10. Tax law: implicit bias and the earned income tax credit Dorothy A. Brown; 11. Intellectual property: implicit racial and gender bias in right of publicity cases and intellectual property law generally Danielle M. Conway; 12. Environmental law: a tale of two neighborhoods: implicit bias and environmental decision making Rachel D. Godsil; 13. Federal Indian law: implicit bias against native peoples as sovereigns Susan K. Serrano and Breann Swann Nu'uhiwa; 14. Capital punishment: choosing life or death (implicitly) Robert J. Smith and G. Ben Cohen; 15. Reparations law: redress bias? Eric K. Yamamoto and Michele Park Sonen.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107648180
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 284
  • ID: 9781107648180
  • weight: 390
  • ISBN10: 1107648181

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