Observers rated the physical attractiveness of 74 defendants in criminal court, covering a broad range of offenses. Seventy-three usable cases were obtained. For 67 defendants (excluding those who had drawn “flat sentences” of 99–199 years), attractiveness was predictive of both minimum and maximum sentences (p <.001)-the more attractive the defendant, the less severe the sentence imposed. No significant relationship was found between attractiveness and conviction/acquittal, although seriousness of the crime was found to correlate negatively with attractiveness (p <.01)).
Race of the defendant showed a systematic relationship to punishment, with nonwhites drawing consistently more severe sentences than whites; a multiple regression analysis using attractiveness, race, and seriousness of crime as predictors of punishment yielded results which implied that this finding was largely due to a confounding of race and seriousness of the crime.