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Racial dynamics underlying crime commission, emotionality, and last statements among executed offenders in Texas
Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice  (IF),  Pub Date : 2019-11-26, DOI: 10.1080/15377938.2019.1693466
Kevin McCaffree, Anondah Saide, Michael Shermer

Abstract We consider here whether African-Americans executed on death row in Texas are consequently (a) more likely to have committed economically-motivated secondary crimes during the commission of homicide/attempted homicide, and whether these inmates were (b) less likely to express being sorry in their final statements before execution. Our study revealed support for the following hypothesized patterns: Caucasian offenders used a greater number of sorry-related words in their last statements, on average, compared with African-American offenders. In addition, homicides/attempted homicides committed by African-Americans were significantly more likely to have included a secondary economically-motivated crime (e.g., robbery). Subsequent analyses revealed that offender race significantly mediated the effects of economic secondary crime commission and “emotional intensity” on expressed sorrow in final statements.