The Present Study
This study will utilize a data set that was obtained from the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR #6956). The principal investigator for the data set, Capital Punishment in the United States, 1973–1995, is the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (1997).
Capital Punishment in the United States, 1973–1995 provides annual data on inmates under the sentence of death, as well as those who had their sentence commuted or vacated and prisoners who were executed. The data set includes several basic sociodemographic variables (e.g., age, sex, race, ethnicity, martial status at the time of imprisonment, level of education, state and region of incarceration). Criminal history data includes prior felony convictions and prior convictions for criminal homicide and the legal status at the time of the capital offense. Additional information is provided on those prisoners removed from death row by year end 1995.
The data set contains a total of 6,228 cases, and provides information on prisoners whose death sentences were removed, in addition to information on those inmates who were executed. The data set also provides information about inmates who received a second death sentence by year end 1995 as well as prisoners who were already on death row.
As mentioned earlier (see Tables 1 and 2), it is difficult to locate studies that include Latino/a, along with African American and/or Caucasian, subjects in their analysis. On the few occasions that Latinos (e.g., Mexicans, Cubans) have been included, researchers have treated this diverse population as a whole, usually under the broad label of [Hispanic,] or [Latino.]