Items: 81 — 90

Mar 18, 2016

STUDIES: South Carolina’s Death Penalty Still Arbitrary 40 Years After Gregg

A new arti­cle by Cornell Law School Professor John Blume (pic­tured) and Lindsey Vann of Justice 360 ana­lyzes South Carolinas expe­ri­ence with the death penal­ty over the last 40 years and argues that cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in the Palmetto State con­tin­ues to exhib­it the same arbi­trary and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry fea­tures that led the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the death penal­ty in 1972. Using Justice Stephen Breyer’s dis­sent in Glossip v. Gross as a guide, Blume and Vann point to unre­li­a­bil­i­ty, arbi­trari­ness, and the declin­ing impo­si­tion of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment as evidence…

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Jan 29, 2016

STUDIES: Ohio Executions Reveal Vast Racial, Gender, and Geographic Inequities

Ohio’s death penal­ty is plagued by vast inequities” ground­ed in race, gen­der, and geog­ra­phy, accord­ing to a new University of North Carolina study. UNC-Chapel Hill polit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor Frank Baumgartner exam­ined the 53 exe­cu­tions Ohio has con­duct­ed since resum­ing cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in the 1970s. His study found quite sig­nif­i­cant” racial, gen­der, and geo­graph­ic dis­par­i­ties in Ohio’s exe­cu­tions that, Baumgartner said, under­mine pub­lic con­fi­dence in the state’s abil­i­ty to car­ry out the death penal­ty in a fair and impar­tial man­ner.” The data showed that Ohio was 6 times more like­ly to…

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Jan 14, 2016

Study Finds Disparities in Race, Gender, and Geography in Florida Executions

Florida exe­cu­tions are plagued by stark racial, gen­der, and geo­graph­ic dis­par­i­ties, accord­ing to a new University of North Carolina study, with exe­cu­tions 6.5 times more like­ly for mur­ders of white female vic­tims than for mur­ders of black males. (See graph, left. Click to enlarge.). UNC Chapel Hill Professor Frank Baumgartner exam­ined data from the 89 exe­cu­tions con­duct­ed in Florida between 1976 — when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Florida’s use of the death penal­ty — and 2014. Baumgartner found that exe­cu­tions occurred dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly in cas­es involv­ing white vic­tims and victims…

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Dec 10, 2015

STUDIES: Electoral Pressures Influence Judges’ Decisions in Capital Cases

“[E]lectoral pres­sures influ­ence judges’ deci­sions in cap­i­tal cas­es,” accord­ing to a new report by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. That report, How Judicial Elections Impact Criminal Cases, sur­veyed numer­ous empir­i­cal stud­ies that had reviewed the effects of judi­cial elec­tions on out­comes in crim­i­nal cas­es. The vast major­i­ty of crim­i­nal defen­dants — includ­ing cap­i­tal defen­dants — face elect­ed judges at tri­al and on appeal. According to the report, 87% of state judges face elec­tion, and 94% of felony con­vic­tions are tried in state…

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Oct 21, 2015

STUDIES: Explaining Virginia’s Disappearing Death Penalty

A new study by University of Virginia law pro­fes­sor Brandon Garrett (pic­tured) shows a dra­mat­ic decline in the death penal­ty in Virginia over the last decade. Virginia has car­ried out the third high­est num­ber of exe­cu­tions since the 1970s and his­tor­i­cal­ly has exe­cut­ed a high­er per­cent­age of its death-row pris­on­ers than any oth­er state. However, Garrett said there are now few­er than two cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing tri­als per year and Virginia juries have not imposed any new death sen­tences since 2011.

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Sep 22, 2015

STUDIES: Elected High Court Judges Half as Likely as Appointed Judges to Overturn Death Sentences

A Reuters analy­sis of more than 2,000 state Supreme Court rul­ings in cap­i­tal cas­es has found that elect­ed judges are much less like­ly to over­turn death sen­tences than judges who are appoint­ed. In the 15 states in which the state Supreme Court is direct­ly elect­ed, jus­tices over­turned death sen­tences only 11% of the time as com­pared to a 26% rever­sal rate in the 7 states in which jus­tices are appoint­ed. 15 states have a hybrid sys­tem, where jus­tices are ini­tial­ly appoint­ed, but must then face elec­tion to remain on the…

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Aug 31, 2015

STUDIES: Louisiana Study Reports Stark Death-Penalty Disparities Linked to Race and Gender of Victims

A new study by Professor Frank Baumgartner of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tim Lyman, a Documentation Specialist in New Orleans, reports stark dis­par­i­ties in Louisiana death sen­tences and exe­cu­tions depend­ing upon the race and gen­der of the homi­cide vic­tim. The study — to be pub­lished in the Loyola University of New Orleans Journal of Public Interest Law — finds that defen­dants accused of killing white vic­tims are near­ly twice as like­ly to be sen­tenced to death and near­ly four times as like­ly to be executed…

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Aug 25, 2015

Stanford Law Professor Debunks Myth That The Death Penalty Deters Murder

In an op-ed for Newsweek, Stanford Law Professor John Donohue argues that there is not the slight­est cred­i­ble sta­tis­ti­cal evi­dence that cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment reduces the rate of homi­cide” and presents data to show that the death penal­ty is not an effec­tive deter­rent. Comparisons between neigh­bor­ing juris­dic­tions show no effect of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment: Whether one com­pares the sim­i­lar move­ments of homi­cide in Canada and the U.S., when only the lat­ter restored the death penal­ty, or in American states that have abol­ished it ver­sus those that retain it, or in Hong Kong…

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Aug 18, 2015

STUDIES: Racial Bias in Jury Selection

A new study of tri­als in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, revealed that poten­tial jurors who were black were much more like­ly to be struck from juries than non-blacks. The results were con­sis­tent with find­ings from Alabama, North Carolina, and oth­er parts of Louisiana, high­light­ing an issue that will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court this fall.

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