Race, Place, and Capital Charging in Georgia

18 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2016 Last revised: 14 Oct 2020

See all articles by Sherod Thaxton

Sherod Thaxton

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Luskin School of Public Affairs; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

The U.S. Supreme Court has identified three types of constitutionally impermissible errors in the administration of capital punishment: arbitrariness, discrimination, and disproportionality. In this essay, I describe an empirically-anchored analytical framework for defining, identifying, and measuring these concepts. I then illustrate the usefulness of the framework by examining prosecutors' death penalty charging decisions in Georgia over an eight-year period. The results strongly suggest that prosecutorial decision-making in Georgia continues to be plagued by the very errors that led the Court to invalidate Georgia's capital punishment system forty years ago.

Keywords: capital punishment, death penalty, criminal law, criminal procedure

Suggested Citation

Thaxton, Sherod, Race, Place, and Capital Charging in Georgia (2016). Mercer Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 3, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2864160

Sherod Thaxton (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.ucla.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/sherod-thaxton

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Luskin School of Public Affairs

3250 Public Affairs Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656
United States

HOME PAGE: http://luskin.ucla.edu/person/sherod-thaxton

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology ( email )

264 Haines Hall
375 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

HOME PAGE: http://soc.ucla.edu/people/sherod-thaxton

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