What One Hand Giveth, the Other Taketh Away: How Future Dangerousness Corrupts Guilt Verdicts and Produces Premature Punishment Decisions in Capital Cases
Elizabeth S. Vartkessian
University at Albany - School of Criminal Justice
October 16, 2012
Pace Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2012
This article aims to further the discussion of the constitutionality of the Texas capital sentencing scheme by focusing on how the statutory focus on the defendant’s future dangerousness dismantles bifurcation and encourages early sentencing decisions. Using data from the Capital Jury Project (CJP), the article demonstrates the biasing effect of early exposure to the concept of dangerousness during voir dire. It traces how jurors use the concept of the defendant’s dangerousness in their guilt decisions and it parses out the ways in which the topic facilitates early sentencing decisions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: capital punishment, future dangerousness, Texas, juror decision makingAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 26, 2013
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