The "Race-of-the-Victim" Effect in Capital Sentencing: McClesky v. Kemp and Underadjustment Bias

Jurimetrics 32:125-41 (1990)

William A. Edmundson
Georgia State University
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 and that it is not the product of racial bias
Keywords capital punishment  death penalty  race  racial discrimination  Baldus study
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