Media and Capital Punishment

Authored by: Matthew Robinson

Routledge Handbook on Capital Punishment

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138651579
eBook ISBN: 9781315624723
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



The death penalty, being the most severe of all criminal justice sanctions, is logically attractive to the media. The death penalty tends to make the news when high profile murderers are sentenced to death and when inmates are executed, as well as when problems with capital punishment lead to wrongful convictions and exonerations. Media coverage of capital punishment can reduce the popularity of the punishment (for example, where studies are covered that illustrate racial bias in the application of the punishment, as in the case of North Carolina), or when they illustrate the very real possibility that innocent people have been put to death (Unnever & Cullen, 2005). Yet, historically, media coverage has tended to increase support for the death penalty (for example, where a heinous murder against a particularly vulnerable victim like a child does not lead to an execution).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.