Award Date

1-1-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Joel D. Lieberman

Number of Pages

82

Abstract

Previous research suggests that jurors are more likely to emphasize aggravating circumstances and disregard mitigating circumstances during the sentencing phase of capital cases. This is not only contrary to the ideals of procedural fairness espoused in most death penalty statutes, but it also increases a capital defendant's likelihood of receiving the death penalty; The current study explores whether mortality salience and worldview defense, key components of terror management theory, can increase procedural fairness in capital cases by increasing jurors' attention to mitigating circumstances. This is achieved through a factorial-design jury simulation in which mock jurors are exposed to varying levels of mortality salience and strength of mitigation circumstances. The analysis of the data is followed by a discussion of the key findings of the study, as well as implications and avenues for future research.

Keywords

Capital; Fairness; Increased; Mortality; Penalty; Phase; Procedural; Salience; Trials

Controlled Subject

Criminology

Disciplines

Higher Education

File Format

pdf

File Size

1.84 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Language

English

Permissions

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