Finding Data: The Politics and Magic of Accessing Capital Punishment Data

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Regency D (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Catherine Grosso , Michigan State University , East Lansing, MI
Mona Lynch , UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
Valerie West , John Jay College/CUNY , New York, NY
This talk provides an overview of the primary data sources for death penalty research and its limitations. We will then examine data requirements for research at each stage of a capital prosecution. We are particularly interested in exploring the ways that politics, luck, institutional legacies, or other irrational factors limit researchersí access to data. We discuss how these factors play a significant role in capital punishment research where local engaged officials control essential data.