Lethal Elections: Gubernatorial Politics and the Timing of Executions
AbstractWe document the existence of a gubernatorial election cycle in state executions, suggesting that election year political considerations play a role in determining the timing of executions. Our analysis indicates that states are approximately 25 percent more likely to conduct executions in gubernatorial election years than in other years. We also find that elections have a larger effect on the probability that an African American defendant will be executed in a given year than on the probability that a white defendant will be exeduted, and that the overall effect of elections is largest in the South. These findings raise concerns that state executions may fail to meet the constitutional requirements stipulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in *Gregg v. Georgia* for the administration of state death penalty laws. This paper was revised July 2002.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Working Papers with number 40.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- K49 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Other
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