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NCJ Number: 136272 Find in a Library
Title: Jury Decision Making in the Capital Penalty Phase
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:16  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1992)  Pages:185-201
Author(s): M Costanzo; S Costanzo
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 17
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article briefly summarizes the case law that attempts to guide juror discretion in the penalty phase of capital murder trials, reviews empirical research on penalty decisionmaking, and identifies several promising directions for future research.
Abstract: It is pointed out that what juries consider and how they actually go about the penalty decision process has received little empirical attention. Nonetheless, research on civil trial decisions suggests some possible differences between culpability and penalty decisions. Interviews with actual jurors represent an especially appropriate method of studying the penalty decision process. The most important lines of research on the penalty phase fall into four broad categories: effects of guiding juror discretion, comparisons of juries who vote for life with those who vote for death, relation between guilty and penalty phases, and models of decisionmaking in the penalty phase. Future research should look at penalty decisionmaking as shaped by different sentencing instructions, the influence of interpersonal dynamics on the penalty decision process, the precise meaning of life imprisonment, the extent to which guilt phase considerations intrude on penalty deliberations, attorney behavior, and the issues of remorse and responsibility. 62 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Jury decisionmaking
Index Term(s): Capital punishment
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