Keywords

Capital punishment, Death penalty, Public Opinion, Marshall hypothesis

Abstract

This thesis tests the three hypotheses derived from the written opinion of Justice Thurgood Marshall in Furman v Georgia in 1972. Subjects completed questionnaires at the beginning and the end of the fall 2006 semester. Experimental group subjects were enrolled in a death penalty class, while control group subjects were enrolled in another criminal justice class. The death penalty class was the experimental stimulus. Findings provided strong support for the first and third hypotheses, i.e., subjects were generally lacking in death penalty knowledge before the experimental stimulus, and death penalty proponents who scored "high" on a retribution index did not change their death penalty opinions despite exposure to death penalty knowledge. Marshall's second hypothesis--that death penalty knowledge and death penalty support were inversely related--was not supported by the data. Two serendipitous findings were that death penalty proponents who scored "low" on a retribution index also did not change their death penalty opinions after becoming more informed about the subject, and that death penalty knowledge did not alter subjects' initial retributive positions. Suggestions for future research are provided.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2007

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Bohm, Robert

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Health and Public Affairs

Department

Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Degree Program

Criminal Justice

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0001754

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0001754

Language

English

Release Date

September 2007

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until September 2007; it will then be open access.

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