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Psych Professor Honored for Race and Death Penalty Research

April 24, 2015

Russ Espinoza, associate professor of psychology, will be recognized during the 24th annual Death Penalty Focus Awards Dinner May 7 for his research in determining racial bias in juries' use of the death penalty. Death Penalty Focus is a nonprofit organization led by actor and activist Mike Farrell that seeks to end capital punishment.

Espinoza and Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, professor of psychology and ethnic studies at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, sought to determine whether European American and Latino mock jurors would demonstrate bias in death penalty decision-making when mitigation evidence and defendant ethnicity and socioeconomic status were varied. The results of the study were published last year in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

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