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NCJ Number: 212691 Find in a Library
Title: Cross-National Variability in Capital Punishment: Exploring the Sociopolitical Sources of Its Differential Legal Status
Journal: International Criminal Justice Review  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:November 2005  Pages:115-130
Author(s): Terance D. Miethe; Hong Lu; Gini R. Deibert
Date Published: November 2005
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the direct and conjunctive effects of social, political, and economic conditions on whether a country has retained capital punishment in the 21st century.
Abstract: Social scientists have long been interested in the relationship between state-imposed punishment and the structure of society. Of the different types of state sanctions in contemporary society, capital punishment has received wide attention from academics and international human rights organizations. However, with this wide attention, minimal research has examined the social, political, and economic conditions in the retention and abolition of capital punishment. This study explored sociopolitical variation in the current legal status of capital punishment in 185 nations using existing theories of punishment and society for a conceptual framework. It examined the unconditional and net effects of religiosity, economic development, citizens’ voice, political stability, and extrajudicial violence on the likelihood of a nation’s retention of legal executions for ordinary crimes. In addition, the nature of variability in death penalty laws among nations with similar sociopolitical structures was explored. Data for the study were derived from various secondary sources. Three separate analytic strategies were used to examine the sociopolitical predictors of the retention of capital punishment. Correlations were found between a nation’s retention of legal executions for ordinary crimes and its level of economic development, primary religious orientation, citizens’ voice in governance, political stability, and recent history of extrajudicial executions. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Abolishment of capital punishment; Cruel and unusual punishment; Cultural influences; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Punishment; Societal reactions to crime; Socioeconomic development; Sociological analyses; Sociology
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