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Pennsylvania Senate Resolution 6 – Capital Punishment

The Justice Center was named as the primary collaborator and advisor to this agenda of research into the state of capital punishment within Pennsylvania. Justice Center researchers are involved in several research topics from the resolution including fairness, public opinion, secondary trauma, and role of mental disorder in capital punishment.

Project Team

  • Project Consultant: Gary Zajac, Ph.D. (gxz3@psu.edu)
  • Project Consultant: John Kramer, Ph.D., Department of Sociology & Criminology- Emeritus
  • Project Consultant: Derek Kreager, Ph.D., Department of Sociology & Criminology

About the Project

  • In 2011, the Pennsylvania Senate passed Senate Resolution Number 6 calling for an agenda of research into the state of capital punishment within Pennsylvania.
  • The Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission has primary responsibility for the management of this resolution, but the Justice Center for Research was named in the resolution as the primary collaborator and advisor to this effort.

Research Questions

  • The resolution identifies 17 specific research topics surrounding the death penalty in Pennsylvania, including issues of cost, fairness, public opinion, alternatives, juror selection, penological intent, and related issues.

Project Details

  • The Justice Center is directly participating in several of these topics, including fairness (see summary of death penalty project), public opinion, secondary trauma, and role of mental disorder.

Implications

  • This work will directly inform deliberations in the PA Senate on policy surrounding capital punishment.