Prosecutorial Discretion Under Resource Constraints: Budget Allocations and Local Death-Charging Decisions
Judicature, 96(4): 161-168 (2013)
21 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2013 Last revised: 5 Apr 2013
Date Written: 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.
Keywords: prosecutors, prosecutorial discretion, budgets, death penalty, capital punishment
JEL Classification: H70, K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation