Dateline: September, 2008, Issue 3

Are jurors fairer toward Hispanic defendants with Hispanic or non-Hispanic attorneys?

Hispanic defendants can be represented by attorneys of the same or a different race.

Espinoza (2005) studied jurors' treatment of Mexican American defendants when they were represented by either a Mexican American or a European American attorney.

In Espinoza's research, juror bias against a Mexican American defendant occurred only when the defendant was of a low socio-economic status and the defendant was represented by a Mexican American attorney. Jurors exhibited no bias against Mexican American defendants of middle (or higher) socio-economic status or when they were represented by European American attorneys.

Source Espinoza, R. K. E. (2005). The effects of defendant race and SES, and defense attorney race on juror decision making: An aversive racism explanation for prejudice against Mexican Americans. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 66(5-B), p. 2875.