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NCJ Number: 114481 Find in a Library
Title: Institutional and Postrelease Behavior of Furman-Commuted Inmates in Texas
Journal: Criminology  Volume:26  Issue:4  Dated:(November 1988)  Pages:677-693
Author(s): J W Marquart; J R Sorensen
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Furman vs. Georgia that the death penalty as administered constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
Abstract: This ruling also invalidated the death sentences of over 600 inmates who subsequently had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. This article examines the institutional and post-release behavior of 47 such inmates in Texas from 1973 to 1986. Prior to their release into the general inmate population, prison officials and clinicians had stated that these inmates were dangerous and constituted a substantial threat to other inmates and the security staff. A comparison of prison and release behavior of the Furman inmates and a cohort of like violent offenders indicates that they committed few serious rule violations. They did not kill other inmates or staff. A minority of inmates in both groups committed a majority of prison rule violations. The majority of Furman inmates were no more predatory, assaultive, or likely to escape than other life-sentenced inmates; most were model prisoners during confinement. Of the Furman inmates; 31 were eventually released into the community. The majority of these did not recidivate. Four committed new felonies -- one murder, one rape, and two burglaries. Of the Furman inmates, 23 are still on parole, including several who have been on parole for more than a decade. Results suggest that execution of these inmates would not greatly have protected society. 4 tables and 35 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Death row inmates
Index Term(s): Texas
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