Capital punishment in the United States appears to apply to only one class of citizens—men. Despite their significant proportional commission of homicides, women account for less than one percent of executions in America. This Note evaluates this trend in the context of a Fourteenth Amendment equal protection challenge to capital punishment in Texas, America’s staunchest death penalty supporter. It discusses issues of paternalism and gender theory as they relate to the Texas capital punishment statute and its application throughout the legal and political process. Finally, this Note argues that despite a series of constitutional obstacles, the Supreme Court should strike down the Texas death penalty statute based on its invidious gender discrimination.
Femininity and the Electric Chair: An Equal Protection Challenge to Texas's Death Penalty Statute,
B.C. Third World L.J.