Death Without Due Consideration?: Overcoming Barriers to Mitigation Evidence by 'Warming' Capital Jurors to the Accused

59 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2013  

Harry M. Caldwell

Pepperdine University - School of Law

Thomas W. Brewer

Kent State University - Department of Justice Studies

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

A significant concern in capital trials is the formidable obstacles impeding the jurors’ ability to consider defense mitigation evidence at sentencing. Race, economic status and guilt phase fact contamination impose are weighty barriers to due consideration. Co-author Brewer’s groundbreaking empirical study analyzing the perceptions capital jurors form about the defendant offers new and revealing insight about how jurors’ perceptions of capital defendants are shaped and how they bear on the jurors’ life or death decision. This article sets forth the study and its conclusions and explores efforts that can be taken by defense counsel to implement the findings in overcoming the barriers to juror consideration of mitigation evidence.

Keywords: capital cases, juror, capital defendants, defense mitigation

Suggested Citation

Caldwell, Harry M. and Brewer, Thomas W., Death Without Due Consideration?: Overcoming Barriers to Mitigation Evidence by 'Warming' Capital Jurors to the Accused (2008). Howard Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 193, 2008; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013/03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2199584

Harry M. Caldwell (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University - School of Law ( email )

24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States

Thomas W. Brewer

Kent State University - Department of Justice Studies ( email )

Kent, OH 44242
United States

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