This week we are excited to have Sidak Yntiso presenting from NYU. Sidak's talk is called "Racial Bias in Criminal Appeals" (with Anna Harvey). The abstract is below, and the paper can be accessed here. We will meet on Thursday from 12:30pm to 1:50pm in Room 217. Please feel free to bring your own lunch.
Existing work indicates that retention through reelection induces larger effects on judicial votes in criminal cases than retention through reappointment. Yet existing work has addressed neither selection effects, nor heterogeneous treatment effects by defendant race, across retention institutions. Leveraging the unique retention institutions governing New York State’s intermediate appellate judges, we report the first within-justice estimates of the effects of both reelection and reappointment incentives on judicial votes in criminal appeals. Our findings indicate that impending judicial reappointment induces a 33 - 36% decrease in appellate votes in favor of black defendants, but has no effects on votes in cases involving white or non-Hispanic white defendants. We find no additional effects of impending reelection on appellate justice votes in criminal appeals. Our findings may indicate the need for greater attention devoted both to potential selection effects, and to heterogeneous effects by defendant race, in studies of judicial retention institutions.