Entries tagged with “Frank Baumgartner

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Lethal Injection

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Jul 18, 2016

40 Years After Key Supreme Court Decision, Constitutional and Practical Problems Plague Death Penalty

The exe­cu­tion of John Conner on July 15 end­ed a two-month peri­od with­out exe­cu­tions in the United States, the longest such peri­od in the coun­try since 2007 – 2008. A range of state-spe­cif­ic issues have con­tributed to this stop­page, includ­ing ques­tions about the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of state death penal­ty prac­tices, prob­lems relat­ing to lethal injec­tion drugs and state exe­cu­tion pro­to­cols, and the fall­out from botched executions.

Facts & Research

Public Opinion

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Federal Death Penalty

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Aug 04, 2021

As Biden Administration Mulls Federal Death-Penalty Policy, Study Finds U.S. Support for Capital Punishment at Lowest Point Since 1960s

As President Biden con­sid­ers his administration’s pol­i­cy on the fed­er­al death penal­ty, his expressed oppo­si­tion to the pun­ish­ment may be buoyed by a new study that has found that Americans sup­port cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment less than they have at any time since the mod­ern death penal­ty sys­tem was estab­lished in 1976.”

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Costs

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Deterrence

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Innocence

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Mental Illness

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Race

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Nov 27, 2017

BOOKS: Deadly Justice — A Statistical Portrait of the Death Penalty

In their new book, Deadly Justice: A Statistical Portrait of the Death Penalty, a team of researchers led by University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill polit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor Frank Baumgartner uses forty years of empir­i­cal data to assess whether the mod­ern death penal­ty avoids the defects that led the U.S. Supreme Court to declare in Furman v. Georigia (1972) that the nation’s appli­ca­tion of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment was uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly arbi­trary and capri­cious. Their con­clu­sion: A rea­soned assess­ment based on the facts sug­gests not only that the mod­ern sys­tem flunks the Furman test…

Policy Issues

Costs

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Sentencing Data

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Jan 27, 2010

Declining Use of Death Penalty in North Carolina Challenges Wisdom of Retaining Costly Practice

In an opin­ion piece in the News & Observer, Professor Frank Baumgartner of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, recent­ly wrote that the declin­ing use and high costs of the death penal­ty in the state put into ques­tion the wis­dom of retain­ing the pun­ish­ment in North Carolina. Baumgartner not­ed that while mur­der rates in the state have remained rel­a­tive­ly unchanged, the num­ber of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment tri­als and death sen­tences have declined sharply. Prosecutors for­mer­ly sought the death penal­ty in 10%-12% of all mur­ders but now seek it in less than…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Race

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Public Opinion

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Sep 29, 2021

New Podcast: Professor Frank Baumgartner on Death-Penalty Data, Public Opinion, and Capital Punishment as a Failed Experiment”

In the September 2021 episode of Discussions With DPIC, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Frank Baumgartner (pic­tured), one of the nation’s lead­ing aca­d­e­m­ic author­i­ties on the death penal­ty, joins Death Penalty Information Center Executive Director Robert Dunham to dis­cuss what research has shown about the impact of race, gen­der, and geog­ra­phy in cap­i­tal cas­es and the cur­rent his­tor­i­cal­ly low lev­el of pub­lic sup­port for cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. Asked what 50 years of data tell us about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of death-penal­ty pol­i­cy reform, Baumgartner says, At this stage, what we…

Policy Issues

Juveniles

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Race

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Sentencing Data

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Aug 29, 2022

Report: Racial Disparities in Death Sentences Imposed on Late Adolescent Offenders Have Grown Since Supreme Court Ruling Banning Juvenile Death Penalty

Racial dis­par­i­ties in U.S. death sen­tences imposed on late ado­les­cent offend­ers have grown sub­stan­tial­ly since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the use of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment against juve­nile offend­ers in 2005, accord­ing to a new report by University of North Carolina polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Frank R. Baumgartner (pic­tured).

Policy Issues

Race

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Sentencing Data

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Mar 01, 2023

RESEARCH: History of Lynchings Linked to Increased Death Sentencing for Black Defendants

Researchers based at the University of North Carolina found a strong sta­tis­ti­cal rela­tion­ship between the lev­el of racial resent­ment in a state and the num­ber of death sen­tences hand­ed down on Black peo­ple. In par­tic­u­lar, racial resent­ment was a stronger pre­dic­tor of Black death sen­tenc­ing rates than con­ser­v­a­tive ide­ol­o­gy, even when con­trol­ling for sev­er­al fac­tors such as homi­cide and vio­lent crime rates. Writing in the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, the authors not­ed: “[W]e find that racial hos­til­i­ty trans­lates direct­ly into more death sen­tences, par­tic­u­lar­ly for Black offenders.”

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Race

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Jan 28, 2015

STUDIES: Death Penalty Overwhelmingly Used for White-Victim Cases

According to a new study prin­ci­pal­ly authored by Prof. Frank Baumgartner of the University of North Carolina, the death penal­ty is far more like­ly to be used if the under­ly­ing mur­der vic­tim was white rather than black. The study exam­ined every U.S. exe­cu­tion from 1976 – 2013 and found, The sin­gle most reli­able pre­dic­tor of whether a defen­dant in the United States will be exe­cut­ed is the race of the vic­tim.… Capital pun­ish­ment is very rarely used where the vic­tim is a Black male, despite the fact that this is the category…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Sentencing Data

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Mar 08, 2010

STUDIES: High Percentage of Death Sentences in North Carolina Later Deemed Excessive

Most of those orig­i­nal­ly con­demned to death in North Carolina even­tu­al­ly received less­er sen­tences when their cas­es were con­clud­ed, accord­ing to Professor Frank Baumgartner, a researcher at the University of North Carolina. Many of those sen­tenced to death received a new tri­al because their first tri­al was seri­ous­ly flawed. At their sub­se­quent tri­als, the vast major­i­ty were sen­tenced to a pun­ish­ment less than death, typ­i­cal­ly a life sen­tence. Only about 20% of the cas­es that were final­ly resolved result­ed in an exe­cu­tion. Baumgartner used infor­ma­tion from the state’s Department of…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Race

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Apr 28, 2016

STUDIES: Louisiana Death Penalty Staggeringly Error-Prone, Racially Biased

More than 80% of the 241 death sen­tences imposed in Louisiana since 1976 have been reversed on appeal, and one death row pris­on­er has been exon­er­at­ed for every three exe­cu­tions in the state, accord­ing to a new study by University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Professor Frank Baumgartner and sta­tis­ti­cian Tim Lyman. The study, to be pub­lished in the Southern University Law Center’s Journal of Race, Gender and Poverty, also reveals dra­mat­ic racial dis­par­i­ties in both the tri­al and appel­late stages of Louisiana death penal­ty proceedings.

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Race

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Jun 10, 2022

STUDIES: Louisiana Study Finds Race and Gender Bias in Application of Death Penalty

Louisiana’s death penal­ty is dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly imposed in cas­es involv­ing white female vic­tims, espe­cial­ly if the defen­dant in the case is a Black man, a new study by three lead­ing death-penal­ty researchers has con­firmed. Louisiana pros­e­cu­tors were more than five times as like­ly to seek the death penal­ty, and juries more than five times as like­ly to impose it, in cas­es involv­ing a Black male offend­er and a white female vic­tim than in crimes in which both the alleged offend­er and the vic­tim were Black.

Policy Issues

Race

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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…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Mar 18, 2015

STUDIES: Most Likely Outcome of Death Sentence Is That It Will Be Reversed

A new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds that the most like­ly out­come for a cap­i­tal case once a death sen­tence has been imposed is that the defen­dan­t’s con­vic­tion or sen­tence will be reversed on appeal. Execution is only the third most like­ly outcome.

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Executions Overview

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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…

Policy Issues

Juveniles

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Race

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Sentencing Data

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Feb 10, 2023

STUDIES: Raising the Age of Those Eligible for the Death Penalty Would Likely Reduce Racial Disparities

Professor Craig Haney (pic­tured) of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Professor Frank Baumgartner of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Karen Steele, a crim­i­nal defense attor­ney in Oregon, exam­ined age and race data from near­ly 9,000 death sen­tences imposed in the U.S. from 1972 to 2021. They found that the racial dis­par­i­ties that plague the death penal­ty were more pro­nounced in cas­es involv­ing juve­nile and late ado­les­cent defen­dants. Building on the find­ings of a 2022 study by Baumgartner, the authors found that, Late ado­les­cent class members…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Race

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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…

Policy Issues

Mental Illness

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Recent Legislative Activity

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United States Supreme Court

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Nov 02, 2023

Under Recent State Legislation, Courts in Ohio and Kentucky Rule Four Men Ineligible for Execution Due to Serious Mental Illness

Though the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution for­bids the death penal­ty for a per­son who is insane” at the time of exe­cu­tion, it has nev­er held that the exe­cu­tion of peo­ple with seri­ous men­tal ill­ness is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al. Experts have found that two in five peo­ple exe­cut­ed between 2000 and 2015 had a men­tal ill­ness diag­no­sis such as bipo­lar dis­or­der, schiz­o­phre­nia, or PTSD. Since 2017, at least eleven states have attempt­ed to strength­en pro­tec­tions for vul­ner­a­ble pris­on­ers by intro­duc­ing bills bar­ring the exe­cu­tion of those with seri­ous men­tal illness…