How Different is Death? Jury Sentencing in Capital and Non-Capital Cases Compared
King, Nancy J., 1958-
Drawing upon a recent study of felony jury sentencing in Kentucky, Virginia, and Arkansas, this essay highlights some of the similarities and differences between jury sentencing in capital cases and jury sentencing in non-capital cases. Unlike jury sentencing in capital cases, jury sentencing in non-capital cases includes functional differentials in judge and jury options for sentencing, and fewer controls on arbitrary decision-making. Jury sentencing in both contexts shares the potential for reluctance on the part of elected judges to reduce jury sentences, information gaps on the part of jurors in setting sentences, and, above all, service as a tool in negotiating settlements.