Sounding guilty: How accent bias affects juror judgments of culpability

Jason A. Cantone, Leslie N. Martinez, Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, Taija Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Black Americans and Mexican Americans have faced continued cultural stereotypes, as well as more punitive outcomes, within the judicial system. Very little research has explored whether minority defendants with stereotypical accents face additional discrimination. The current study investigated the role of race and accent bias on juror decisions for Black, Mexican American, or White defendants in a negligence case. Results indicated that while Black and Mexican American defendants were found more negligent than White defendants, Black defendants were judged more negatively than White and Mexican American defendants, especially when the Black defendant had a stereotypical accent. The results offer important legal considerations that attorneys must make when deciding whether or not to recommend that the defendant testify.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-253
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019


  • Accent
  • courts
  • legal discrimination
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Law


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