Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Report – Only 2% of Counties Responsible for Majority of U.S. Death Penalty

From the beSpacific blog comes news that only 2% of U.S. counties are responsible for the majority of death penalty cases. The blog post concerns a report created by the Death Penalty Information Center, the author of which states "Eighty-five percent of the counties in the U.S. have not had a single case resulting in an execution in over 45 years."

While the report may be factually accurate, as a researcher you should be wary of the conclusions to be drawn from the data. For example, the percentage could indicate crimes warranting death penalties occur more frequently in those counties. In the alternative, the concentration could reflect charging practices of prosecutors in those counties.

Want to learn more? Grab a copy of The Interpretation of Data.