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An Alternative To Death-Qualification: The Nonunanimous Penalty Jury, Jane Tucker Mar 2012

An Alternative To Death-Qualification: The Nonunanimous Penalty Jury, Jane Tucker

Student Scholarship Papers

Eliminating jurors for cause based on their opinions concerning the death-penalty (“death-qualification”) is a widespread practice that has been upheld by multiple Supreme Court cases, but which has been widely criticized for resulting in juries that studies have shown to be more conviction-prone, and biased toward the prosecution, in addition to being unrepresentative of the community at large. This Note offers a possible solution to the problems caused by death-qualification at both the guilt and penalty phases, unlike those proposed thus far: specifically, the elimination of death-qualification altogether, coupled with the relaxation of the unanimity requirement at the penalty phase.