Date: April 14, 2011
Creator: Samaniego-Kopsky, Rebekah & King, Kimi L.
Description: This paper discusses research on the factors affecting the rate of execution in the state in the Texas. 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 ...
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