“Evidentiary standards for jurors are specifically articulated (for example, ‘preponderance of the evidence’) but substantively vague. The question is how a juror operationalizes that standard —just how much evidence does she require for believing that this standard has been met? These studies show how our assessments of evidence — of how much is enough — are themselves potentially malleable. One potential source of malleability is, according to this research, a desire (most likely implicit) to protect one’s ingroup status. If a juror strongly identifies with the defendant employer as part of the same ingroup — racially or otherwise — the juror may shift standards of proof upwards in response to attack by an outgroup plaintiff. In other words, jurors who implicitly perceive an ingroup threat may require more evidence to be convinced of the defendant’s harmful behavior than they would in an otherwise identical case that did not relate to their own ingroup. Ingroup threat is simply an example of this phenomenon; the point is that implicit biases may influence jurors by affecting how they implement ambiguous decision criteria regarding both the quantum of proof and how they make inferences from ambiguous pieces of information.”

Source: Hon. Mark W. Bennett, Devon Carbado, Pam Casey, Jerry Kang,  et al. “Implicit Bias In The Courtroom.” 56 UCLA L. Review 1124, 1166. 2012.

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