American Government and Politics

The Political Dynamics of Capital Punishment Commutations



We explore political explanations for U.S. governors' willingness to commute death sentences in their state. Across descriptive tests and pre-registered regression specifications, we find little evidence that election timing or term limits affect either the probability of commuting death sentences or the number of such sentences governors might commute. We do however find that governors are more likely to commute sentences during the "lame duck" period after their successor's election but before their inauguration.


Thumbnail image of Gerez_Miller_SPPC.pdf


Log in or register with APSA to comment
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting and Discussion Policy [opens in a new tab] – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .