The Futile Quest for Racial Neutrality in Capital Selection and the Eighth Amendment Argument for Abolition Based on Unconscious Racial Discrimination

84 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2006

See all articles by Scott Howe

Scott Howe

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Abstract

This article begins by discussing the characteristics of current capital-sentencing systems that make racial discrimination in capital selection uncontrollable. It also summarizes the social-science evidence that white-victim bias widely plagues capital selection. The article then develops the two central arguments suggested by its title. First, it provides a detailed explanation of why proposals for federal regulatory reform cannot succeed in achieving racial neutrality in capital selection. Second, it provides a theory to explain why unconscious racial discrimination in capital selection violates the Eighth Amendment and, given the futility of federal regulatory remedies, justifies abolition.

Keywords: Capital punishment, capital sentencing, death penalty

Suggested Citation

Howe, Scott, The Futile Quest for Racial Neutrality in Capital Selection and the Eighth Amendment Argument for Abolition Based on Unconscious Racial Discrimination. William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 45, p. 2083, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=920516

Scott Howe (Contact Author)

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
39
Abstract Views
543
PlumX Metrics