Effigy

Overview

Effigy examines the images of a capital defendant portrayed, by the defense attorneys and the prosecutor, during the guilt and penalty phases of capital trial, the trial tactics used to impart these images, and the consequences that result from the jury's attempt to reconcile contradictory images to place one in permanent record as a verdict. These images are starkly contrasted against the backdrop of a brutal murder in which the stereotypes of American fear are realized: Donta Page, the defendant, is an ...

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Effigy: Images of Capital Defendants

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Overview

Effigy examines the images of a capital defendant portrayed, by the defense attorneys and the prosecutor, during the guilt and penalty phases of capital trial, the trial tactics used to impart these images, and the consequences that result from the jury's attempt to reconcile contradictory images to place one in permanent record as a verdict. These images are starkly contrasted against the backdrop of a brutal murder in which the stereotypes of American fear are realized: Donta Page, the defendant, is an African-American male from a low-income segment of society while Peyton Tuthill, the victim, was a Caucasian female from a middle-income suburb. The prosecuting attorneys depict the defendant as a "savage beast," juxtaposing their image against that of a "troubled youth" as Page is portrayed by the defense attorneys. Slowly and methodically developed as figures with diametrically opposed features, none of which overlap or congeal, both the images are portrayed as real (buttressed by the testimony of witnesses) rather than constructed. The jury is expected to render a verdict that accepts one and rejects the other: there is no middle ground.

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Editorial Reviews

May 2009 CHOICE
[Cotton] cites the relevant scientific research on juror decision making, and then takes a more open-ended approach to study how jurors reached a guilty verdict in this case. This ultimately provides valuable insight into how jurors are likely to make judgments about human behavior based on their own experience, rather than relying on expert testimony that challenges commonly held assumptions about rational action. Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739125519
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Series: Issues in Crime and Justice Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Allison M. Cotton is assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Death Penalty in the U.S. and How Juries Operate Chapter 3 The Importance of Defining the Defendant Chapter 4 The Legal Fight Chapter 5 The Guilt Phase: How the Defense/Prosecution Saw their Mission Chapter 6 The Penalty Phase: The Prosecution/Defense's Mission Chapter 7 Who Is the Defendant? The Prosecution's/Defense's Answer Chapter 8 The Impact on Jurors Chapter 9 Conclusion

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