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Women State Legislators and the Death Penalty in the U.S.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2019 (English)In: The American Political Science Association State Politics and Policy Conference, 2019Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While the death penalty in the U.S. is generally described as existing in a state of overall decline, legislative battles not only over whether the policy should be repealed, but also if it should be expanded, continue. Often assumed to be a battle along partisan lines, neither history nor current developments at state level provide convincing support for such an assumption. Another layer of assumptions has also been made regarding women legislators and capital punishment. Women legislators are generally caught between a perception of on the one hand, lacking the ability as lawmakers to handle the violent threat posed by crime, while on the other hand, being particularly credible due to a perceived heightened ability of caring for others and being compassionate. In practice, women legislators should thus be involved in legislation that could be considered as far too lenient, or focused primarily on only one area, such as the rights of the defendant. Capital punishment however, I argue, does not follow generalized notions on what constitutes a “women’s issue” and subsequently how women legislators handle this type of oftentimes very controversial legislation. Based upon a unique dataset comprising legislation relating to the death penalty collected from each death penalty state during the years 1999-2018, analyses of the content of bill proposals and well as patterns of women’s sponsorship of such are conducted and related to the institutional and partisan state context. Results indicate that women legislators throughout the states do indeed introduce bills with the aim of protecting vulnerable groups, yet these bills have drastically different outcomes that defy easy categorization along gender, as well as, partisan lines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
women legislators, death penalty, bill proposals
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-84490OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-84490DiVA, id: diva2:1319690
Conference
Presented at The American Political Science Association State Politics and Policy Conference, College Park, MD, May 30 – June 1, 2019.
Available from: 2019-06-03 Created: 2019-06-03 Last updated: 2019-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Ricknell, Emma

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf