skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 127537 Find in a Library
Title: Prosecutorial Discretion and Capital Sentencing in North and South Carolina (From Death Penalty in America: Current Research, P 39-52, 1991, Robert M Bohm, ed. -- See NCJ-127534)
Author(s): R Paternoster
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines factors, particularly racial discrimination, that influence prosecutors' charging decisions under the post-Furman guided discretion statutes in two contiguous death penalty states, North and South Carolina.
Abstract: It enumerates the aggravating and mitigating circumstances in the capital sentencing statutes of both States. Data sources for South Carolina include Supplemental Homicide Report of 302 felony-murder cases, as well as the original police report of the homicide, subsequent investigations, court and trial information, and criminal history data. North Carolina data was obtained from a study conducted by Barry Nakell. It provided information from the office of the medical examiner, police reports, court reports, and interviews with both prosecuting and defense attorneys. South Carolina prosecutors sought the death sentence for 114 (38 percent) out of 302 homicides and North Carolina prosecutors for 118 (25 percent) out of 468. In addition to factors in mitigation and aggravation, regression analysis of these data shows strong evidence of victim-based racial discrimination in prosecutorial decision-making in South Carolina, but not in North Carolina. 7 tables, 3 notes, and 6 references
Main Term(s): Prosecutorial discretion
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; North Carolina; Racial discrimination; South Carolina
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.