CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Heise on Death Row Clemency

Heise michaelMichael Heise (Cornell Law School) has posted The Death of Death Row Clemency and the Evolving Politics of Unequal Grace on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

While America’s appetite for capital punishment continues to wane over time, clemency for death row inmates is all but extinct. Moreover, what little clemency activity that persists continues to distribute unevenly across gender, racial and ethnic groups, geography, governors’ political affiliation, and over time. Insofar as courts appear extremely reluctant to review – let alone interfere with – clemency activity, little, if any, formal legal recourse exists. Results from this study of clemency activity on state death rows (1973-2010) suggest that potential problems arise, however, to the extent that our criminal justice system relies on clemency to function as coherent extrajudicial check.

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