Geometrical Justice: The Death Penalty in America

By Scott Phillips and Mark Cooney, on 12 October 2022

In their new book, released in the Summer of 2022, University of Denver criminology and sociology professor Scott Phillips and University of Georgia sociologist Mark Cooney apply the concept of “social geometry,” developed in the 1970s by sociologist Donald Black, to analyze outcomes of capital cases. After reviewing extensive data collected in connection with the landmark Baldus Study of capital sentencing in Georgia and from the national Capital Jury Project, they conclude that the sentencing outcomes in the cases in those databases support key principles of Black’s theory: the higher the social status of the victim and the lower the social status of the defendant, the more likely a death sentence will be imposed.

  • Document type Book
  • Countries list United States