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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135761 Find in a Library
Title: Reimposition of Capital Punishment in New Jersey: Felony Murder Cases
Journal: Albany Law Review  Volume:54  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1990)  Pages:709-817
Author(s): L B Bienen; N A Weiner; P D Allison; D L Mills
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 109
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports research findings from the analysis of the nature and processing of felony murder cases in New Jersey after August 6, 1982, the effective date of the capital punishment statute.
Abstract: The cases were a subset of the database of 703 homicide cases that were reported and analyzed in an earlier study. Data were collected on more than 100 variables pertinent to the defendant and victim, the circumstances of the offense, and the procedural history of the case. Findings show that race and county jurisdiction apparently operate somewhat differently in New Jersey regarding the two outcomes of interest, i.e., the plea-versus-trial decision and the serving of a notice of aggravating factors. The disparities at these two critical decision points in the processing of a capital case, and potentially between subgroups of defendants, underscore the conclusion that strategies to eliminate disparate handling in capital case processing must pinpoint the decisionmaking outcomes, types of disparities, and particular defendant subgroups. Strategies that ignore these factors may be limited in their effectiveness. Appended New Jersey capital punishment statute, prosecutor's guidelines for designation of homicide cases for capital prosecution, case characteristics of New Jersey felony murders, frequency distributions of selected variables, and annotation of death-possible felony murder cases
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Jurisdiction; New Jersey; Racial discrimination; Sentencing disparity
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