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Journal

Law and Society

2021

Empirical legal studies

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Deadly 'Toxins': A National Empirical Study Of Racial Bias And Future Dangerousness Determinations, Justin D. Levinson, G. Ben Cohen, Koichi Hioki Dec 2021

Deadly 'Toxins': A National Empirical Study Of Racial Bias And Future Dangerousness Determinations, Justin D. Levinson, G. Ben Cohen, Koichi Hioki

Georgia Law Review

Since the beginning of the modern Death Penalty Era, one of the most important—and fraught—areas of capital punishment has been the so-called “future dangerousness” determination, a threshold inquiry that literally rests the defendant’s life or death on jurors’ predictions of the future. An overwhelming majority of capital executions have occurred in jurisdictions that embrace the perceived legitimacy of the future dangerousness inquiry, despite its obvious flaws and potential connection to the age-old racial disparities that continue to plague capital punishment. This Article presents, and empirically tests, the hypothesis that jurors’ future dangerousness assessments cannot be separated from their racial and …