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Brendan O’Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi’s Shadows of Doubt: Stereotypes, Crime, & the Pursuit of Justice

New Books in the Arts and Sciences

May 22, 2020

Shadows of Doubt reveals how deeply stereotypes distort our interactions, shape crime, and deform the criminal justice system. If you’re a robber, how do you choose your victims? As a police officer, how afraid are you of the young man you’re about to arrest? As a judge, do you think the suspect in front of you will show up in court if released from pretrial detention? As a juror, does the defendant seem guilty to you? Your answers may depend on the stereotypes you hold, and the stereotypes you believe others hold. In this provocative, pioneering book, economists Brendan O’Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi explore how stereotypes can shape the ways crimes unfold and how they contaminate the justice system through far more insidious, pervasive, and surprising paths than we have previously imagined