Judge and Jury
3 - 4
Death Penalty Cases
Racial Effects in Death Penalty
Consider the following discussion of race and the death penalty
in Philadelphia, from an article
using data eventually published in 83 Cornell L. Rev. 1638 (1998).
"The first step in determining the presence of racial discrimination
in the death penalty is to look at the raw data: from among the eligible
homicides, how often are black defendants sentenced to death and how
often are others sentenced to death?
"The raw data of death sentences in Philadelphia between 1983
and 1993, provide . . . evidence that race discrimination may be operating.
The rate at which eligible black defendants were sentenced to death
was nearly 40% higher than the rate for other eligible defendants.
A sentencing rate is simply a ratio of the number of death sentences
for a particular group compared to the total number of cases of that
group which would be eligible for a death sentence. . . . [A] death
sentencing rate of .18 for blacks means that for every 100 eligible
black defendants, 18 will be sentenced to death. For other defendants,
only 13 out of 100 will be similarly sentenced."
The appendix to the article reports that the .18 figure for black defendants
above is based on black defendants' receiving the death penalty in 95
of 520 cases, and the .13 figure for other defendants is based on all
others' receiving the death penalty in 19 of 147 cases.
- Construct a 2 x
2 table based on the data in the preceding paragraph.
- Use the chi-square
calculator to compute the p-value.
(In the Results reporting section, make sure
to select "verbose" output.)
and p-value calculator