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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134284 Find in a Library
Title: Death Penalty and Gender Discrimination
Journal: Law and Society Review  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:(1991)  Pages:367-383
Author(s): E Rapaport
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 18
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of sex discrimination, capital punishment, and State laws regarding the death penalty presents data refuting the common view that females are less likely than males to receive death sentences and argues that State laws authorizing capital punishment are discriminatory in that they attach greater seriousness to economic and other predatory murder than to domestic homicide.
Abstract: The small number of female murderers sentenced to death has resulted in the belief that chivalrous attitudes spare females from capital punishment. However, the proportion of death row inmates who are female matches the infrequency with which females commit crimes for which society authorizes capital punishment. In addition, preliminary analysis suggests that female death row inmates are more likely than male death row inmates to have killed spouses or other intimates, although this disparity has not yet been explained. Nevertheless, a content analysis of State laws regarding capital punishment reveals a form of gender bias that is harmful to the interests of women in that domestic homicide is viewed as less serious than other forms of homicide. Tables, footnotes, lists of cases and laws cited, and 29 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Sex discrimination
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; State laws
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