Discrimination in capital sentencing : an investigation of discretionary bias in the imposition of the death penalty in the United States

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Discrimination in capital sentencing : an investigation of discretionary bias in the imposition of the death penalty in the United States

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Title: Discrimination in capital sentencing : an investigation of discretionary bias in the imposition of the death penalty in the United States
Author: Koehrsen, Eric M.
Advisor: Ball, Richard J.
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Economics
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 224698 bytes85477 bytes
Issue Date: 2002
Abstract: This study examines the probability that an individual receives the death penalty for murder in the United States in 1998. The intention is to investigate the presence of arbitrariness and discrimination in capital sentencing subsequent to the supposed reforms of the pre-Furman capital statutes. The author hypothesizes that race, gender, education, and the location of the murder are relevant factors in determining the likelihood of receiving the death penalty. Specifically, non-blacks, men, and poorly educated people convicted of murder are expected to be more likely to receive a death sentence. A preliminary statistical overview suggests that these hypotheses are born out in the data. The findings from a more thorough regression analysis support these hypotheses and show that non-blacks are approximately 1.5 times more likely than blacks to incur the death penalty for murder. Additionally, a convicted murderer with a ninth grade education is 1.7 times more likely than a high school graduate to receive a death sentence. Therefore, this study suggests that discrimination is present in capital sentencing based upon a convicted murderer's race and level of education, among other factors.
Subject: Capital punishment -- United States
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/587

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Citation

Koehrsen, Eric M.. "Discrimination in capital sentencing : an investigation of discretionary bias in the imposition of the death penalty in the United States". 2002. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/587.

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