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NCJ Number: 99747 Find in a Library
Title: Capital Punishment and Corrections - Is There an Impending Crisis?
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:31  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1985)  Pages:461-479
Author(s): D Cheatwood
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: As of March 1, 1985, there were 1,479 persons on death row across the United States, and the best estimate is that we will continue to add another 150 to that number for the foreseeable future.
Abstract: We must now begin to face the question of whether we actually intend to execute that number of people. Avoiding the traditional philosophical arguments and debates over empirical data, we argue that there are three options that corrections must consider -- execution, commutation and concentration, or commutation and dispersal through the inmate population -- because it is unavoidable that one of the three will come into being in the near future. The potential systemic effects and external factors that would follow if we were to execute all of these persons, or if we were to reduce their sentences to avoid such a large number of executions, are considered. The conclusion is that one of the more probable scenarios is the enactment of life-without-release statutes in a number of states, and return of a proportion of the death row populations to institutions under that provision. Finally, if this is to occur, the alternative models of concentration of this population in segregated facilities or their dispersal among the general inmate population are considered. (Author abstract)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Death row inmates; Life sentences; Overcrowding
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