Predictors of Death Sentencing for Minority, Equal, and Majority Female Juries in Capital Murder Trials
Death penalty, jury sex compositions, gender and criminal justice processing
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The relatively small body of prior research investigating whether the sex composition of juries impacts sentencing decisions has produced equivocal results. Exploring this topic further, the current study used a large sample of capital cases from North Carolina (n = 675) to examine (a) whether jury sex composition predicted jury capital punishment sentencing decisions; and (b) whether there were different models of sentencing for male-majority, equal male-female, and female-majority juries. When we controlled for a number of legal and extralegal factors, our findings indicated that jury sex composition was independently related to sentencing outcomes. Specifically, equal male-female juries were significantly more likely and female-majority juries were significantly less likely to choose the death penalty versus a sentence of life in prison. In addition, different models (predictors) of sentencing were revealed for each of the jury sex compositions. Implications for future research and policy are discussed.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Women & Criminal Justice, v. 26, issue 4, p. 260-280
Scholar Commons Citation
Richards, Tara N.; Bjerregaard, Beth E.; Cochran, Joseph; Smith, M. Dwayne; and Fogel, Sondra J., "Predictors of Death Sentencing for Minority, Equal, and Majority Female Juries in Capital Murder Trials" (2016). Social Work Faculty Publications. 133.