Charging and Sentencing of Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter Cases in Georgia, 1973-1979 (ICPSR 9264)

Principal Investigator(s): Baldus, David C.; Woodworth, George; Pulaski, Charles A.


These data were collected to assess the levels of racial discrimination and arbitrariness occurring at different levels within Georgia's capital charging and sentencing system. Data cover approximately 1,000 murder and voluntary manslaughter cases. Information was obtained for all known penalty trial cases and for certain cases stratified by case type (voluntary manslaughter conviction, nonpenalty trial life sentence, and penalty trial) and by state judicial circuit. Numerous measures of defendant blameworthiness were developed as a basis for assessing levels of arbitrariness and discrimination in the capital charging and sentencing system. Variables include race, sex, and socioeconomic class, as well as crime codes, jury/bench decisions, final plea, term, and number of counts convicted.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


Baldus, David C., George Woodworth, and Charles A. Pulaski. Charging and Sentencing of Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter Cases in Georgia, 1973-1979. ICPSR09264-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001.

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation. Law and Social Sciences Program (SES 8209449)
  • Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    manslaughter, murder, racial discrimination, sentencing

Geographic Coverage:    Georgia, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1973-03--1979-12

Universe:    Defendants convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter in Georgia between March 1973 and December 1979.

Data Type(s):    survey data, and event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


Sample:    Stratified probability sample including all known sentence and penalty trial cases.

Data Source:

records of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, Georgia Department of Offender Rehabilitation, Georgia Bureau of Vital Statistics, and Georgia prosecutors and defense attorneys

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1989-12-15

Version History:

  • 2001-12-14 The documentation for this collection was converted to PDF and the SAS data definition statements were reformatted.

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