Racial Disparity and Death Sentences in Ohio

By Marian R. Williams / Jefferson E. Holocomb / Journal of Criminal Justice, on 1 January 2001

The use of the death penalty has resulted in a number of studies attempting to determine if its application is consistent with the guidelines established by the United States Supreme Court. In particular, many studies have assessed whether there are racial disparities in the imposition of death sentences. This study examined the imposition of death sentences in Ohio, a state largely ignored by previous research and that, until 1999, had not executed an inmate since 1963. Drawing from previous studies that have examined the issue in other states, this study assessed the likelihood that a particular homicide would result in a death sentence, controlling for race of defendant and victim and other relevant factors. Results indicated both legal and extralegal factors (including race of victim) were significant predictors of a death sentence, supporting many previous studies that concluded that race plays a role in the imposition of the death penalty.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Networks,