Title page for ETD etd-04262011-131720

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Muggivan , Sean Seosop
Author's Email Address smuggi2@tigers.lsu.edu
URN etd-04262011-131720
Title The Times-Picayune's Coverage of Three Incidents Resulting in Capital Trials
Degree Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
Department Social Work
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bartheley, Juan J. Committee Chair
Guin, Cecile C. Committee Member
Molidor, Christian E. Committee Member
  • mitigation
  • news media and capital trials
  • capital defense teams
  • news media coverage of death penalty cases
Date of Defense 2011-04-07
Availability unrestricted
Death penalty cases are truly the most unique cases in the criminal justice system. Much research has been done showing that the death qualification process venripersons must undergo results in jurors un-empathetic to the kind of information used to mitigate the death penalty, as well as creating a jury that is more susceptible to pretrial publicity. This study reviews this research and analyzes the content of a New Orleans’ newspaper’s coverage of three incidents resulting in capital trials. It was found that, similar to a study done in California that was the model for this study’s content analysis, the newspaper relied heavily on law enforcement, prosecutors and prosecutorial lay witnesses, and emphasized details used to seek a guilty verdict and to seek the death penalty. Implications of these findings on capital defense teams were discussed.
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