A matter of life and death: The failure of juror instructions in capital cases

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elicka S. Peterson, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Findings based on interviews with capital jurors indicate that considerable confusion exists over sentencing instructions. Jurors had difficulty understanding the content of the instructions, sometimes disregarding them altogether. Jurors placed a premium on remorseful demeanor from the defendant, and this weighed heavily in their sentencing deliberations. Many jurors who chose the death option misunderstood the true meaning of a life sentence. Finally, grave concerns were expressed about the competency of other jurors. In light of these findings, we call for the adoption of a priori training and better juror instructions based upon Gottfredson and Gottfredson's (1980) model for rational decision-making.

Additional Information

Publication
Peterson, E., & Kempf-Leonard, K. (1999, September). A Matter of Life And Death: The Failure Of Juror Instructions In Capital Cases. Justice Professional, 12(2), 173.
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Juror instructions , capital cases , rational decision-making , capital jury project , Sentences (Criminal procedure) ,Jury ,Life imprisonment ,Attitude (Psychology)

This item is a version of:

TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
Peterson, E., & Kempf-Leonard, K. (1999, September). A Matter of Life And Death: The Failure Of Juror Instructions In Capital Cases. Justice Professional, 12(2), 173.http://www.routledge.com/The described resource is a version, edition, or adaptation of the related resource.