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: 134288 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Choosing Those Who Will Die: Race and the Death Penalty in Florida
Journal: Florida Law Review  Volume:43  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1991)  Pages:1-34
Author(s): M L Radelet; G L Pierce
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 34
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: 5T32 MH15161-14
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data on the 368 Florida homicides and death sentences for which complete records were available from 1976 through 1987 were analyzed to determine whether race influences contemporary sentences of capital punishment in Florida.
Abstract: The study used the procedures previously used by Gross and Mauro and thus represented an update of their research. Results confirmed earlier studies indicating that the defendant's race and the victim's race are both strong predictors of who receives clemency and who is executed. Although death sentences were rarely imposed, cases with white victims were almost six times more likely than those with black victims to involve a death sentence. In addition, black defendants who killed white victims were more than twice as likely to receive a death sentence than were white defendants who killed white victims. Moreover, black defendants who killed white victims were 15 times more likely to be sentenced to death than were black defendants who killed black victims. The research controlled for the most plausible variables that might have explained the correlations between race and sentencing, suggesting the inappropriateness of rejecting the hypothesis that victim-based racial discrimination permeates contemporary death sentencing in Florida. Tables and footnotes
Main Term(s): Racial discrimination
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Florida; Sentencing factors
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.