RACE AND THE DEATH PENALTY IN GEORGIA 1995-2004: HAS ANYTHING CHANGED?
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This study examines the relationship between the race of victim and combination of victim and offender races on a prosecutor's decision to seek the death penalty. The objective is to offer an updated look at the Georgia capital sentencing system between 1995 and 2004. In an older Georgia study based on data from the 1970s, race of victim was found to be of critical importance in capital case processing. Given the changes that have occurred in Georgia's death penalty system to address disparate sentencing along with the number of years that have gone by, an argument can be made that a more current investigation may yield new findings. Using data from the Atlanta Constitution Journal, a logistic regression analysis is conducted. Results reveal that although race of victim is still relevant to a prosecutor's decision to seek a death sentence, its influence has diminished.