Reassessing the Racial Divide in Support for Capital Punishment : The Continuing Significance of Race

This project investigates the racial divide in support for capital punishment. The authors examine whether race has a direct effect on support for capital punishment and test whether the influence of race varies across class, being a native southerner, confidence in government officials, political o...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Main Author: Unnever, James D. (Author)
Other Authors: Cullen, Francis T.
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 2007
In:Journal of research in crime and delinquency
Year: 2007, Volume: 44, Issue: 1, Pages: 124-158
Online Access: doi
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 31
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Summary:This project investigates the racial divide in support for capital punishment. The authors examine whether race has a direct effect on support for capital punishment and test whether the influence of race varies across class, being a native southerner, confidence in government officials, political orientation, and religious affiliation. Using data drawn from the General Social Survey, they find a substantial racial divide, with African Americans much less likely to support the death penalty. Furthermore, the analysis revealed little support for the "spurious/social convergence" hypothesis; shared factors that might be expected to bring African Americans and Whites together - class, confidence in government, conservative politics, regional location, and religious fundamentalism - either did not narrow African American-White punishment attitudes or, at best, had only modest effects. The Results suggest that the racial divide in support for capital punishment is likely to remain a point of symbolic contention in African American-White conceptions of criminal injustice in the United States. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR
ISSN:0022-4278
DOI:10.1177/0022427806295837