Exploring the Role of Victim Sex, Victim Conduct, and Victim-Defendant Relationship in Capital Punishment Sentencing

Lane Kirkland Gillespie, Thomas A. Loughran, M. Dwayne Smith, Sondra J. Fogel, Beth Bjerregaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Disparities in the administration of capital punishment are a prominent social and political issue. Recent studies indicate that victim characteristics of sex and race produce interactive effects on capital-sentencing outcomes. Extending this line of research, the current analysis explores the intersection of victim sex with victim conduct and victim-defendant relationship, utilizing a population of North Carolina capital cases spanning the years 1977 to 2009 (N = 1,285). Findings indicate that cases with a female victim who was not involved in illegal activity at the time of the murder and acquaintance female victim cases are most likely to result in a death recommendation. Potential reasons for these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-195
Number of pages21
JournalHomicide Studies
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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