TITLE

Judicial Narratives of Ideal and Deviant Victims in Judges' Capital Sentencing Decisions

AUTHOR(S)
Zaykowski, Heather; Kleinstuber, Ross; McDonough, Caitlin
PUB. DATE
December 2014
SOURCE
American Journal of Criminal Justice;Dec2014, Vol. 39 Issue 4, p716
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Although the Victim's Rights Movement has led to advances for victims of crime, the use of victim impact evidence in criminal trials remains controversial due to the suspicion that such evidence enhances punitive attitudes and arbitrariness in capital sentencing outcomes. Despite a growing body of literature in this area, it remains unclear if some victims are viewed more favorably than others, particularly from the perspective of judges. The current study examines the construction of victims by judges in capital cases and how this portrayal impacts sentencing outcomes in Delaware, which vests the final capital sentencing authority in judges rather than juries. In examining this gap in the literature, we consider if judges make distinctions between ideal and deviant victims, if these distinctions are associated with victim and offender characteristics, and if the construction of victims impacts offender sentencing. Findings from this study lend support to the idea that judges describe some victims as more 'worthy' than others, that victims described in ideal ways are more likely to be white and female, and that 'ideal victims' are more likely to result in death sentences.
ACCESSION #
99239040

 

Related Articles

  • An Examination of Defendant Sex Disparity in Capital Sentencing: A Propensity Score Matching Approach. Richards, Tara; Smith, M.; Jennings, Wesley; Bjerregaard, Beth; Fogel, Sondra // American Journal of Criminal Justice;Dec2014, Vol. 39 Issue 4, p681 

    Although much prior work has examined the influence of extralegal factors on jury capital sentencing decision-making, the influence of defendant sex has been largely omitted from previous investigations. Using propensity score matching methods, the current study analyzes data from the North...

  • Presentence Reports. Rush, Christina; Robertson, Jeremy // Law & Human Behavior (Springer Science & Business Media B.V.);Jun1987, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p147 

    This study investigated the use made by judges of background information provided in presentence reports in reaching their sentencing decisions. The presentence reports were furnished in a number of modified forms during an experimental manipulation in a real-life setting. By obtaining judges"...

  • THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN PRESENTENCE RISK EVALUATIONS AND SENTENCING OUTCOME. Jung, Sandy; Brown, Kelsey; Ennis, Liam; Ledi, Denise // Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice;2015, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p111 

    Presentence risk evaluations are routinely submitted to judges prior to sentencing with the goal of guiding treatment recommendations and informing sentencing decisions. Empirical research has yet to examine this association. In the present study, the correspondence between presentence risk...

  • FALSE POSITIVES AND FALSE NEGATIVES IN CAPITAL CASES. Lillquist, Erik // Indiana Law Journal;Winter2005, Vol. 80 Issue 1, p49 

    Examines the recommendations of the Massachusetts Governor's Council on Capital Punishment Report about the issue of accuracy in capital case decision making. Value that is implicated with accuracy; Categories of a false positives death sentence; Benefits of the proposal concerning the...

  • Governors' Dilemma. Black Jr., Charles L. // New Republic;4/28/79, Vol. 180 Issue 17, p12 

    Presents arguments in favor of state governors' decision to commute all death sentences in their state, despite the fact that such universal commutation would be a violation of state law. Governors empowered to exercise clemency under state law; Use of the exercise of clemency to give expression...

  • Penalties Verdicts: Keeping the Record Straight. Freedman, Jonathan L. // Law & Human Behavior (Springer Science & Business Media B.V.);Dec1994, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p699 

    No abstract available.

  • CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ON TRIAL. Lyons, Donna // State Legislatures;May2000, Vol. 26 Issue 5, p14 

    Examines the implementation of death penalty in the United States (US). Moratorium of capital punishment in Illinois; Race and economic circumstances relating to death sentences; Effectiveness of laws to streamline the appeals on capital punishment; Executions by lethal injection in the US.

  • The Chance of a Lifetime.  // Current Events;9/21/2001, Vol. 101 Issue 3, p4 

    Presents an editorial cartoon depicting the odds of getting a death sentence under the United States criminal justice system. Claims of anti-capital punishment groups of wrongful convictions.

  • INTRODUCTION. Meltsner, Michael; Wolfgang, Marvin E. // Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology;Fall1983, Vol. 74 Issue 3, p659 

    Introduces a series of articles regarding capital punishment sentencing.

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics