10 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2011 Last revised: 2 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 1, 2016
This study examines the racial characteristics of homicides occurring in Louisiana’s 1st Judicial District Court (Caddo Parish, the Shreveport area) during the 27 years from 1988 through 2014, and then compares them to the racial characteristics of death-eligible (first degree at some stage) murder cases prosecuted during the same period. Chi-Square testing reveals that there is a negligible (one-in-one-million) chance of obtaining the case data if the null hypothesis – that death-eligible cases are a racially random sample drawn from the homicide group – were true. Black-on-white homicides produce death-eligible cases 73% of the time, versus 26% of the time for all other cases. Over-representation of black-on-white cases is evident at every level of eventual verdict. Evidence of discrimination against black defendants is also found in analyses of sentence length and jury unanimity.
The report counts and calculations for this article can be found here: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2096243
Keywords: Death penalty, Shreveport, Caddo, Race, Racism, Homicide, Murder
JEL Classification: C12, J71, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation