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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 113641 Find in a Library
Title: Death by Jury (From Challenging Capital Punishment: Legal and Social Science Approaches, P 149-176, 1988, Kenneth C Haas and James A Inciardi, eds. -- See NCJ 113635)
Author(s): V P Hans
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using research findings and legal cases on jury decisionmaking in the penalty phase of capital trials, this paper develops a portrait of the penalty-phase jury, including who the jurors are, their views, and their reactions to courtroom proceedings, evidence, and instructions.
Abstract: In the penalty phase of capital trials, jurors are charged with representing the community's judgment, yet the voir dire and challenge processes have eliminated significant segments of the public from the jury. Jurors have been influenced during voir dire questioning and the trial in pivotal ways, yet they are instructed to focus only on aggravating and mitigating evidence. Whether the penalty-phase jury is capable of responsibly fulfilling its task remains unanswered. Despite considerable legal scholarship, there are gaps in knowledge about how the jury confronts the capital decision. Issues requiring further analysis include the interaction between the guilt and penalty phases, juror decisionmaking, the effectiveness of judicial instructions to the jury, and the effect of specific aggravating and mitigating circumstances. 7 notes, 50 references.
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Jury decisionmaking; Jury selection; Sentencing/Sanctions; Voir dire
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