People are social animals. We teach each other. We learn from each other. We judge each other.
Perhaps dozens of times a day we make evaluations about other people based on how they look at us and what they say to us. We make determinations about other people based on race and class and whether we think another person is “one of us” – in all the ways that a person can be one of us. Maybe pheromones play a role in how we evaluate each other. But these small judgments we make in our interactions with others shape how we treat each other in ways large and small.
None of this goes away when a judge puts on a robe and imposes a sentence on a person who has been convicted of a crime.