Death Row Days: Factors Affecting the Rate of Execution in the State of Texas

Description:

This paper discusses research on the factors, especially racial bias, affecting the rate of execution in the state of Texas.

Creator(s):
Creation Date: April 14, 2011
Partner(s):
UNT Honors College
Collection(s):
UNT Scholarly Works
Usage:
Total Uses: 144
Past 30 days: 14
Yesterday: 0
Creator (Author):
Samaniego-Kopsky, Rebekah

University of North Texas; McNair Scholar

Creator (Contributor):
King, Kimi L.

University of North Texas; Faculty Mentor; kking@unt.edu

Date(s):
  • Creation: April 14, 2011
  • EmbargoUntil: April 14, 2013
Description:

This paper discusses research on the factors, especially racial bias, affecting the rate of execution in the state of Texas.

Degree:
Department: Political Science
Department: Honors College
Note:

Abstract: The Supreme Court of the United States, in Furman v. Georgia (1972), invalidated death penalty statutes across the country because offenders, under existing laws, were vulnerable to capricious sentencing. Despite attempts by states to reduce arbitrariness in the three decades since 'Furman' (1972), extra legal factors, particularly race, continue to influence every phase of capital punishment from the indictment to the sentence. The Court, in McCleskey v. Kemp (1987), refused to consider widespread racial bias as reason to overturn an individual's death sentence, but directed statistical analysts towards state legislators to affect change. In this paper, the author examines the effects of legal and extra legal factors to see if they continue to influence decision makers after the verdict. Specifically, the author examines the relationship between race of the offenders and race of the victims to see if that relationship is correlated with the length of time between conviction and execution. The author also considers the effects of the victim's cause of death, the reason the offender was eligible for the death penalty, and the nature of the relationship between the offender and the victim. Under empirical analysis, results do not support widespread racial bias either against minority offenders or in favor of white victims, but the model does support my theory that offenders who were strangers to their victims will spend more time on death row than offenders familiar with their victims. Additionally, the model supports, in part, the author's hypothesis that Texas executes, at a faster rate, offenders with multiple victims.

Physical Description:

20 p.

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): death penalties | executions | courts | Texas
Source: Eighth Annual University Scholars Day, 2011, Denton, Texas, United States
Contributor(s):
Series Title: University Scholars Day
Partner:
UNT Honors College
Collection:
UNT Scholarly Works
Relation (Is Version Of): Death Row Days: Factors Affecting the Rate of Execution in the State of Texas, ark:/67531/metadc93266
Identifier:
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc84372
Resource Type: Paper
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public