Making sense of the feedback loop between the media and the criminal justice system

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My dissertation focuses on the connections between criminal law, race, media, and society. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, I focus on three interrelated components: the criminal law in action, in particular sentencing decisions; media representations of crime, criminals and victims; and how the interactions between these institutions and representations shape the criminal justice system. My dissertation aims to push the scholarship on the effects of mass media on the criminal justice system a step forward, and to empirically assess and explain both the existence and the magnitude of such effects, with particular attention to the treatment disadvantaged minorities receive from the criminal justice system. My first two papers explore racially skewed media representations of defendants and victims, and discuss how these representations dominate the criminal justice system and affect criminal law and policy. The third paper investigates how increased coverage on crime leads to increased harshness in sentencing among judges in state trial courts, and explain these relationships based on the media's role in instilling fear of crime in society. Utilizing mainly quantitative research methods, I bridge a gap in the empirical scholarship and provide evidence to better understand the feedback loop between the media and the criminal justice system. I demonstrate how institutional dynamics shape social learning on crime in society, corroborate stereotypical thinking, and preserve and perpetuate inequalities in the criminal justice system. By doing so, I go beyond traditional institutional exploration of the criminal justice system to provide a more holistic view of how Americans in general, and legal professionals in particular, perceive and discuss crime in society. Moreover, I offer a novel multidisciplinary lens to address recurrent themes in the scholarship on racial disparities in the criminal justice system


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2020; ©2020
Publication date 2020; 2020
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Ravid, Itay
Degree supervisor Engstrom, David Freeman
Thesis advisor Engstrom, David Freeman
Thesis advisor Donohue, John J III, 1953-
Thesis advisor Iyengar, Shanto
Degree committee member Donohue, John J III, 1953-
Degree committee member Iyengar, Shanto
Associated with Stanford University, School of Law JSD.


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Itay Ravid
Note Submitted to the School of Law JSD
Thesis Thesis JSD Stanford University 2020
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2020 by Itay Ravid
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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