Friday, February 26, 2021
Michael Conklin (Angelo State University) has posted Appellate Inequality Is Not a Virtue: A Response to Brett Parker’s Is Death Different to Federal Judges? on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This Article is a response to Brett Parker’s Note in the Stanford Law Review, Is Death Different to Federal Judges? An Empirical Comparison of Capital and Noncapital Guilt-Phase Determinations on Federal Habeas Review. Parker’s research found that appellate judges are significantly more likely to grant relief to capital murder defendants than they are to similarly situated noncapital murder defendants. While there are some minor issues with how the findings were reported, this Article primarily focuses on the implications of the research. This includes implications of race, the problem with using ratios as a goal, and answering whether being sentenced to death is worse than life without parole. Furthermore, a critique of Parker’s support for the inconsistent standard of appellate review his research discovered is provided.