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A Study of Death Row Inmates and the Causes of Their Behavior
by Christopher J. Kurtz, PhD

INSIDE DEATH ROW is both a qualitative and quantitative study of death row inmates in America, based on several years of research and correspondence with the condemned.

From Inside Death Row...

   The majority of participants report that they felt that they were treated unfairly during the course of their lives and also had no role model to look up to. These two factors are of considerable importance when we examine violent behavior. A feeling that one is treated unfairly is accompanied by a feeling that the world owes you something. The two statements are causally related: that is, because I was treated unfairly then I am entitled to receive something in return as compensation for that unfair treatment. The statements, "The world owes me something." and, "Life never treated me right" appear over and over again in the writings of the study participants.
   The feeling that you have been treated unfairly is also linked to feelings of low self-esteem. Again, the two can be seen as being causally related: that is, because I have been treated unfairly then I must not be worthy of being treated fairly. Scores reported on psychological tests, that we will examine in the next section, indicate that the majority of participants experienced feelings of low self-esteem.

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