Breaking News

Saving Face: How Looks Impact Court Sentences
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

 

mugshot

Summary: A recent study from the University of Toronto suggests that one’s facial appearance may have a big impact on sentencing.

  
What
Where


If you don’t look trustworthy, watch out: you’re more likely to receive a harsher sentence if you are ever in trouble with the law.

In an interesting new study, psychology researchers at the University of Toronto analyzed the relationship between facial trustworthiness and real-life criminal sentences, the Wall Street Journal reports. They found that facial appearance has a tremendous impact on punishments, “even to the point of execution.”

Over 700 mugshots of black and white criminals in Florida were collected. These images are available on a public online database. Florida still allows the death sentence, so the researchers studied inmates that had murder convictions. Convicted individuals either receive life without parole or are placed on death row to await execution.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Check out this teen’s mugshot.

The photos ranged from “scowling frowns and blank stares to toothy grins.”



To rate the photos, 200 individuals were asked to participate in the study. These participants viewed around 100 pictures, and rated trustworthiness on a scale of 1 to 8, with 1 being very untrustworthy and 8 being extremely trustworthy.

Although prison uniforms were visible in the photos, the participants were given no additional information about the individuals, such as crimes committed or sentences received.

Are you surprised at these results?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The ratings were then compared with the sentences the inmates received. They found evidence for sentencing biases based on facial trustworthiness, even in individuals who were exonerated of their crimes. The study added, “This shows compelling evidence for the ability of facial appearance to guide the severity of sentencing decisions…”

Here’s an article about the arrest of Jenelle Evans, along with her mugshot.

The Daily Mail also added that if a convict’s lips turned upward, they fared better, but a natural frown could be damning.

The study commented that it is “possible people who look less trustworthy commit more odious crimes,” but the authors noted that the results strongly suggest that sentences are more about people’s perceptions of trustworthiness. Race also seemed to make no difference in the study, Metro noted.

Journey’s drummer was recently arrested in Oregon.

John Paul Wilson, the lead author of the study, said, “People should be aware of these biases and their susceptibility to them. Any one of us could find ourselves on a jury one day, and the more we know about what can bias our judgments, the more we can be equipped to combat them.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

Photo credit: legitscoop.com



 

Interesting Legal Sites You May Like


BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Mid-level Commercial Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-WA-Seattle

Seattle office of an AmLaw firm seeks mid-level commercial litigation associate attorney with 3+ yea...

Apply Now

E-Commerce, Privacy and Cybersecurity Associate Attorney

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of an AmLaw firm seeks eCommerce, privacy and cybersecurity associate attorney ...

Apply Now

E-commerce, Privacy and Cybersecurity Associate Attorney

USA-NY-New York City

New York City office of an AmLaw firm seeks eCommerce, privacy and cybersecurity associate attorney ...

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

Paralegal

USA-CA-Pasadena

Job Summary: The Paralegal will be a part of the in-house legal team  and work on a variety...

Apply now

Legal Administrative Assistant

USA-WI-Milwaukee

von Briesen & Roper, s.c., one of Wisconsin’s leading law firms, recognized as a “Top Wo...

Apply now

Litigation Paralegal

USA-CA-Covina

We are looking for an experienced litigation paralegal in the field of personal injury law who can t...

Apply now

Legal Department Manager

USA-CA-Visalia

Acclaim Credit Technologies is seeking full time individual for our legal department. Job requiremen...

Apply now

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top