About 11% of death-sentenced prisoners executed in the United States hastened executions by abandoning their appeals. How do these prisoners persuade courts to allow them to abandon their appeals? Further, how do legal structures and processes organize these explanations, and what do they conceal? An analysis of Texas cases suggests that prisoners marshal explanations for their desires to hasten execution that echo prevailing cultural beliefs about punishment and the death penalty. The coherence of these accounts is amplified by a non-adversarial, unreliable legal process. This article contributes to our understanding of legal narratives, and expands their analysis to include not only hegemonic stories and legal rules, but also the legal process that generates them.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science