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CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN TEXAS AND CALIFORNIA: A COMPARISON

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN TEXAS AND CALIFORNIA: A COMPARISON,J. Keith Price,Gary R. Byrd

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN TEXAS AND CALIFORNIA: A COMPARISON  
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This study compares two versions of the use of capital punishment. Texas rigor- ously implements the death penalty. California reluctantly executes capital pun- ishment. The study examines similarities and differences in the two approaches. Execution rates, death penalties imposed by juries, implementation of death, the cost of capital punishment, murder rates, and the reciprocal effects of execu- tion rates and murder rates were viewed in light of posed research questions. The study revealed that Texas was signifi cantly higher in the rate of executions, jury imposed death sentences, and the implementation of capital punishment than California. The cost of capital punishment was also substantially higher in Texas than in California. Despite the differences in the practice of capital punishment, the murder rates of Texas and California were remarkably similar. There was a strong correspondence in year-to-year changes and no signifi cant difference in the rates of the two states. An examination of execution rates and murder rates over time via a cross-lagged panel analysis, unfortunately, produced no clear fi ndings. However, this study did illustrate the value of the Heilbrun (2006) challenge to examine states that rigorously versus reluctantly implement their death-penalty sentences.
Published in 2008.
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