We discuss capriciousness in decisions to charge homicide defendants with capital crimes. We propose using Shannon Information to assess capriciousness in a charging system and apply Shannon Information to analyze new data from San Francisco County, California. We show that about two-thirds of the potential systemic capriciousness is removed by the explanatory variables available. The one-third remaining is dependent on inherently unstable features of charging practices that necessarily produce capriciousness.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science