Race and the decision to seek the death penalty in federal cases [electronic resource] / Stephen P. Klein, Richard A. Berk, Laura J. Hickman
- Klein, Stephen P., 1938-
- Santa Monica, CA : RAND, 2006.
- Additional Creators:
- Berk, Richard A.
Hickman, Laura J.
Rand Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (Organization)
Public Safety and Justice Program (Rand Corporation)
National Institute of Justice (U.S.)
- Restrictions on Access:
- License restrictions may limit access.
- Introduction and Background -- Data collection methods -- Description of data on key variables -- A statistical analysis of charging decisions in death-eligible federal cases: 1995-2000 -- Supporting data for Klein, Freedman, and Bolus -- Race and the federal death penalty chapter -- The predictors used -- Charging decisions in death-eligible federal cases (1995-2000): arbitrariness, capriciousness, and regional variation -- Differences among defendants -- Summary of Findings and Conclusions -- Appendix A: About the authors -- Appendix B: Two advisory committees -- Appendix C: Capital-eligible offenses -- Appendix D: Coding forms and rules -- Appendix E: Training agenda -- Appendix F: Case summary form.
- This study examined the relationship between the federal government's decision to seek the death penalty in a case and that case's characteristics, including the defendant's and victim's races. This research began by identifying the types of data that would be appropriate and feasible to gather. Next, case characteristics were abstracted from Department of Justice Capital Case Unit (CCU) files. Defendant- and victim-race data were obtained from electronic files. Finally, three independent teams used these data to investigate whether charging decisions were related to defendant or victim race. The teams also examined whether these decisions were related to case characteristics and geographic area. There are large race effects in the raw data that are of concern. However, all three teams found that controlling for nonracial case characteristics eliminated these effects, and that these characteristics could predict the seek decision with 85 to 90 percent accuracy. These findings support the view that decisions to seek the death penalty were driven by heinousness of crimes rather than by race. Nevertheless, these findings are not definitive because of the difficulties in determining causation from statistical modeling of observational data.
- 0833039660 (pbk. : alk. paper)
- Title from title screen (viewed on July 21, 2006).
Document formatted into pages; contains 181 pages.
"RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment."
"This research was conducted under the auspices of the Safety and Justice Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE)"--Pref.
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references.
- Technical Details:
- Mode of access: internet via WWW.
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