Prosecutorial Discretion Under Resource Constraints: Budget Allocations and Local Death-Charging Decisions
Utah State University - Department of Political Science
Judicature, 96(4): 161-168 (2013)
Do prosecutorial resource constraints influence death-charging decisions? Prosecutors typically contend that death-charging decisions are made independent of budget considerations, and the limited empirical evidence supports this view. Using new data on death-charging decisions from 301 prosecutorial districts across 34 states, the results presented here suggest that the conventional wisdom is wrong. The probability of facing a death charge is higher in prosecutorial districts with larger budgets. The results inform our understanding of the politics of prosecutorial behavior and the policy debate over capital punishment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: prosecutors, prosecutorial discretion, budgets, death penalty, capital punishment
JEL Classification: H70, K00
Date posted: February 1, 2013 ; Last revised: April 5, 2013