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University of New Hampshire Law Review

Abstract

The presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial lie at the core of the United States justice system. While existing rules and practices serve to uphold these principles, the administration of justice is significantly compromised by a covert but influential factor: namely, implicit racial biases. These biases can lead to automatic associations between race and guilt, as well as impact the way in which judges and jurors interpret information throughout a trial. Despite the well-documented presence of implicit racial biases, few steps have been taken to ameliorate the problem in the courtroom setting. This Article discusses the potential of virtual reality to reduce these biases among judges and jurors. Through analyzing the various ethical and legal considerations, this Article contends that implementing virtual reality training with judges and jurors would be justifiable and advisable should effective means become available. Given that implicit racial biases can seriously undermine the fairness of the justice system, this Article ultimately asserts that unconventional de-biasing methods warrant legitimate attention and consideration.

Repository Citation

Natalie Salmanowitz, Unconventional Methods for a Traditional Setting: The Use of Virtual Reality to Reduce Implicit Racial Bias in the Courtroom, 15 U.N.H. L. Rev. 117 (2017), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol15/iss1/2

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