Sociology and Criminology

David V. Baker, Ph.D., J.D.

Lecturer of Criminology 

Office: Bear Hall 221
Phone: 910-962-2178

bakerd@uncw.edu 


*Curriculum Vitae 

  • J.D., California Southern Law School
  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Riverside
  • M.A., Sociology, University of California, Riverside
  • B.A., Political Science, California State University, Northridge 

From the Death Penalty Information Center
Native Americans and the Death Penalty

David V. Baker has written a thorough and insightful analysis of how the death penalty in the U.S. has been used against Native Americans. In "American Indian Executions in Historical Context," Baker places the execution of Native Americans within the history of colonialism, slavery and the conquering of indigenous tribes in early America. The article traces these developments to the current era, about which the author concludes:

The trend in American Indian executions during the present historical period of self-determination shows a significant increase in Indian executions during the 1990s. The 15 American Indian executions since 1973, in many cases, accent the problems endemic to contemporary capital punishment schemes—increasing rates of voluntary executions, botched executions, racist prosecutorial discretion, and ineffective capital defense counsel. In these cases, all the victims were white and the American Indian defendants largely suffered from severe alcoholism, drug abuse, and mental illness. In most cases, defendants came from predictable backgrounds of abject poverty, alcoholic and abusive parents, and violent family histories.


Research Interests
:

  • Racism and sexism in lethal sanctioning
  • Lynching in the United States
  • Structured inequality in the U.S. justice system

Current Research Projects:

  • Lynching and American Women: A Contextual History
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Executions in Historical Context
  • Minorities and Crime: A Contextual History of Racist Oppression

Selected publications:

  • Women and Capital Punishment in the United States: An Analytical History (McFarland Publishing, 2016).
  • “Historical Forces Governing Hispanic Injustice: Repressive Practices Against Persons of Mexican Descent In the Borderlands of the American Southwest, 1848-1929,” in Martin Guevara Urbina (Ed.) Hispanics in the U.S. Criminal Justice System: The New American Demography (Charles C. Thomas Publishing, 2013).
  • “Female Lynchings in the United States: Amending the Historical Record,” Race and Justice: An International Journal, 2(4) 2012: 356-391.
  • “Black Female Executions in Historical Context,” Criminal Justice Review, 33(1) 2008: 63-88.

A Research/Teaching Philosophy:

Frankly, the American criminal justice system is the enforcement arm of social stratification in the United States. Despite the righteous rhetoric of judges, prosecutors, and other judicial officials to the constitutional cannons of equity, fairness, and evenhandedness, American society continues its historical use of the U.S. criminal justice system to further the aims of class, race and gender oppression to advantage the dominant white male majority. Accordingly, structured inequality is not aberrant, obscure, tangential, or unimportant to justice administration, nor is it fragmented or isolated, as some crime scholars would have us believe; rather, it is endemic, integral, and central (systemic) to the administration of American criminal justice. It is incumbent upon social scientists and legal scholars to more diligently assess how and why the construction and operation of the American criminal justice system is white male constructed and white male controlled. My research and teaching interests further this concern.

  • J.D., California Southern Law School
  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Riverside
  • M.A., Sociology, University of California, Riverside
  • B.A., Political Science, California State University, Northridge