Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Justice Administration
Family members; Murder victims; Capital punishment; Death penalty; Perceptions; Executions
Capital punishment--Public opinion; Murder victims' families--Attitudes; Murder victims' families--Psychology
Two common assumptions are that the family members of murder victims will achieve closure and perceive a sense of justice following the execution of their loved one's murderer. These assumptions, however, may be unfounded. Using family member statements from newspaper articles reporting on 138 executions in the United States from 2006-2011, the current study examines family member post-execution feelings and attitudes as reported in the media. Results indicate that family member closure and perceived justice following the execution, although the most preeminent themes that emerge, are still relatively uncommon. The results of the current study are discussed in the context of previous literature on media studies examining post-execution family member feelings and attitudes, the death penalty process and public opinion and perception of the death penalty. Societal as well as policy implications are discussed.
Burton, Corey Daniel 1984-, "Families of murder victims' perceptions of capital punishment : a content analysis of what family members say following executions." (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 184.