Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Keith A. Wilmot
The Baldus study, designed and conducted by David C. Baldus, George C. Woodworth, and Charles A. Pulaski, Jr., is a study of “equal justice” in death sentencing during a period of judicial conflict and controversy over capital punishment. This landmark study focused on levels of arbitrariness and racial discrimination in capital sentencing in Georgia during the period 1969–1979. Three principal reasons led the authors of the study to concentrate on the state of Georgia. First, Georgia led the nation from 1930 to 1980 in the total number of offenders executed. Second, the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions in both Furman v. Georgia (1972), which invalidated all capital sentencing statutes, and Gregg v. Georgia (1976), which upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty for murder, focused on Georgia's capital sentencing system. Third, the study was designed to challenge Georgia's post-Furman capital sentencing system on issues of arbitrariness and racial discrimination. As post-Furman ...