Racial Disparities in Capital Sentencing: Prejudice and Discrimination in the Jury Room

Racial Disparities in Capital Sentencing: Prejudice and Discrimination in the Jury Room
Jamie L. Flexon
January 2012

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-485-8 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xvi, 160 pages

Price   $65.00

"...a valuable contribution to the literature on racial disparities in capital punishment. Flexon's interdisciplinary approach is a clever and unique method to examine how racial biases may appear in the courtroom and may impact racial disparities in capital sentencing decisions." -- Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Book Review


Flexon presents an interdisciplinary perspective to the problem of racial disparities in capital case outcomes. In doing so, research from social and cognitive psychology concerning stereotypes and attitude influence were bridged with other empirical findings concerning racial disparities in capital sentencing. Specifically, the psychology of stereotypes and attitudes are used to help explain how racial discrimination can operate undetected among death qualified jurors while producing sentencing discrepancies. The introduction of a potential source of bias information concerning criminal justice and race also is offered. Results indicate that prejudicial ideas are likely operating to influence capital sentencing decisions.

About the Author

Jamie Flexon is an assistant professor of criminal justice in the School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) at at Florida International University. Her research interests include evaluation of criminological theory, criminal justice policy, and race/ethnicity issues in criminal justice. Her recent work has appeared in Crime & Delinquency, Journal of Criminal Justice, Victims & Offenders, and Western Criminology Review.