Throughout this course, you have examined the relationships between race, class, gender, and the criminal justice system. One aspect that has been widely studied is the use of the death penalty. Since execution is the harshest possible penalty, and is not correctable, it is essential that it be fairly applied.
Utilizing valid, up-to-date research, address the issues outlined below in a properly formatted Microsoft Word document.
On the basis of the above readings, answer the following questions about capital cases:
- Describe the roles of the judge and the jury in the sentencing process.
- Compare and contrast the characteristics of men and women on death row. Discuss why there are fewer women on death row than men and explain the significance of this difference.
- Discuss patterns of either “race of victim” or “race of defendant” discrimination in death penalty cases. Cite reliable data to support your points.
- Analyze the impact of factors other than race or gender in the sentencing of death penalty cases. For instance, consider an offender’s prior record and “aggravating circumstances.”
- Analyze the importance of the quality of the legal representation a defendant has in determining whether he or she will receive the death penalty.