Death on the brain: The psychological effects of the death penalty based on the views of those condemned to die

Tierenney M Garrison, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the psychological aspect and effects that a sentence of death, and duration of detention, has on death row inmates. The instrument utilized was the Death Symptom Inventory (DSI) containing demographical items developed by the author of this study. The study was conducted with inmates that were under a death sentence in Tennessee. The sample population was the amount of inmates who wished to participate, which in this case was thirteen. The literature strongly suggests that the death row phenomenon, and the effects of it which are known as the death row syndrome, may develop or become visible when mere constitutional confinement becomes extremely lengthy, given the many factors that precipitate, induce, or aggravate the condition. This study intended to show why existing death anxiety and fantasy scales are not sufficient when surveying death sentenced inmates. The results found in this study supported the theory in the literature that the emotional trauma gained from being on death row is uniquely fitting to that individual. The results also showed that the variables tested; strained childhood, sex, and race were not statistically significant factors in determining the amount of trauma that is experienced with the Tennessee sample. ^

Subject Area

Law|Psychology, Social|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Tierenney M Garrison, "Death on the brain: The psychological effects of the death penalty based on the views of those condemned to die" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1461693.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI1461693

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