The effect of political ideology of the three branches of state governments and socio-economic factors on the presence of death penalty statutes
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. Despite intense debates on the legitimacy of the death penalty, only a few studies have empirically tested the relationship between the political and socio-economic factors and the presence of the death penalty in individual states.; Using a state panel dataset from 1976 to 2008, this paper identifies the relationship between the political ideologies of state government's three branches, state-level socio-economic factors, and the existence of the death penalty in a given state. The paper also examines the relationship between the characteristics of a state's highest court, including its general political ideology, reputation, and innovativeness, and the presence of the death penalty in its jurisdiction. The paper finds that the effect of political and socio-economic factors on the presence of the death penalty in a state diverges from traditional assumptions and thus requires further research and analysis. Accordingly, policy makers who attempt to change the death penalty policies in a state should take these factors into consideration.
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