The *American Bar Association Journal* includes an article: “Jurors Less Likely to Convict Defendants Wearing Glasses, Say Lawyers and 2008. Study” by Debra Cassens Weiss.
Here are some excerpts:
Do juries take passes on criminal defendants who wear glasses?
Criminal defense lawyers apparently believe it’s the case…
Increasingly they are asking their clients to wear glasses during jury trials.
One prosecutor agreed, calling glasses “an unspoken nerd defense.”
In the study, 220 undergraduate students were asked to judge a fictitious case involving a defendant accused of robbing and slashing a woman.
The students were given folders describing the case, but some of the pictured defendants were black, some were white, some wore glasses, and some did not.
The students convicted 50 defendants who wore eyeglasses and 63 defendants who did not sport eyewear.
The study also found an “interaction effect” between the defendant’s race and eyeglasses.
The African American defendants were rated as more attractive and more friendly when wearing glasses, but the white defendants were not.
Both black and white defendants were rated as less threatening when wearing eyeglasses, but the effect was more pronounced for African American defendants.
The article is online at: