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Wednesday, April 26 • 4:05pm - 4:25pm
Racism in Crime Reporting and The Ethics of Capital Punishment

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One of the most crucial aspects of the American criminal justice system is the right to a fair trial by an impartial jury of peers; this is so highly esteemed that some juries are sequestered to prevent the influence of outside information. Yet studies on capital punishment continuously find evidence of racism in capital trials, including jury decisions, which raises significant ethical questions regarding the death penalty. Using an ethical lens, this study undertakes a content analysis of U.S. newspaper articles to explore the relationship between racism in crime reports and the ethics of capital punishment. A stratified random sample of newspaper reports of murders from across the U.S. during a continuous four-week period were selected. Texts were coded systematically to provide a sociological and ethical analysis of capital punishment. Ongoing investigation suggests evidence of racism in the murder reports, which could affect the ethical analysis of capital punishment.

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Wednesday April 26, 2017 4:05pm - 4:25pm
236 Zageir Hall

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