The "Race-of-the-Victim" Effect in Capital Sentencing: McClesky v. Kemp and Underadjustment Bias
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Jurimetrics 32:125-41 (1990)
This is a critical discussion of the Baldus study of capital sentencing in Georgia. It concludes that the Baldus finding of a "race-of-the-victim" effect is less robust than capital-punishment abolitionists have claimed. But the flaws in the Baldus study should not comfort death-penalty advocates, for they reveal an epistemological barrier to the US Supreme Court's ever being able to satisfy itself both that the sentence reflects particularized consideration of the circumstances and character of the defendant (mandated by Woodson v North Carolina) and that it is not the product of racial bias (condemned in Furman v Georgia and Gregg v Georgia).
|Keywords||capital punishment death penalty race racial discrimination Baldus study|
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