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Connecticut Study Reveals Arbitrariness in Death Cases
1/2/2008 11:33 AM

Professor John Donohue of Yale University's School of Law recently conducted a study of death sentences in Connecticut and found that seeking the death penalty often correlated with the race of the victim and the defendant, and not necessarily with the severity of the crimes, as the law requires. "There was basically no rational system to explain who got the death penalty," Donohue said. "It really is about as random a process as you can possibly construct."

After reviewing 207 murder cases dating back to the early 1970s that were eligible for death penalty prosecution, the study found: