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1993

Capital punishment

Applied Statistics

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Deadly Confusion: Juror Instructions In Capital Cases, Theodore Eisenberg, Martin T. Wells Nov 1993

Deadly Confusion: Juror Instructions In Capital Cases, Theodore Eisenberg, Martin T. Wells

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

A fatal mistake. A defendant is sentenced to die because the jury was misinformed about the law. The justice system should be designed to prevent such a tragic error. Yet our interviews with jurors who served in South Carolina capital cases indicate that this nightmare is a reality.

Although our data are limited to South Carolina, the question whether jurors are adequately instructed in capital cases is of national concern. For example, the issue whether jurors should be more fully informed about the alternative to a death sentence has arisen in other states. And the question whether jurors understand the ...