This essay will critique “Race, Capital Punishment, and the Cost of Murder” by M. Cholbi. The critique will discuss and point out some unnecessary concepts and flaws in the author’s argument along with logical fallacies. The author appeals for a moratorium among capital punishment due to racial disparities. This essay will analyze the author’s paper on the subject of race and capital punishment. The subject of capital punishment is controversial, as some citizens believe capital punishment is unconstitutional.
1. Disparity of application of the death penalty is a researched and heavily discussed topic. There is no disparity applied to the death penalty due to race. Many individuals believe that discrimination against minorities directly contributes to the amount of offenders on death row that are African American, Hispanic, or part of a different minority group. These trends exist for a reason, however I believe the reason is due to the fact that individuals strive to meet different goals dependent on their racial background. Currently, approximately 41 % of inmates on death row are black, and 44 % are white. There are more inmates who are white on death row, which makes it hard to determine that disparity was applied based on race or gender when individuals are faced with a death penalty sentence. There are far less women on death row. There are not many women on death row because the death penalty is not often applied to their cases. However, this is not due to their gender, it is based on the crimes that were committed and typically women commit less violent crimes than men.
There is also a large disparity between races when it comes to sentencing convicts to Death Row. Looking just at the federal death penalty data released by the Department of Justice between 1995 and 2000, 682 defendants were charged with death-eligible crimes. Out of those 682 defendants, the defendant was black 48% of the cases, Hispanic in 29% of the cases, and white in only 20% of the cases (Coker, 2003).
Racial injustice has always existed in the American criminal justice system (S. Steiker and M. Steiker, 243). This can be seen in recent years where constitutional campaigns on the abolishment of capital punishment were led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Legal Defense and Education Fund (S. Steiker and M.Steiker, 244). This is an organization that fights for equality of rights and to “eliminate race-based discrimination” (Our Mission). It demonstrates that there is an inequality in the treatment of races concerning the death penalty. In addition, according to the authors, they never found a
Kent McKeever a white male, husband, father, attorney and youth minister, whose home is in Texas thought that he lived a pretty privileged life and wanted to experience how harsh and real, those who were underclass and less fortunate lived and the struggles that they had to deal with on a daily basis. Being privileged has some very positive outcomes and he really never had to deal with anything that would hold him back. He would always do very well and try hard, he just wanted a better understanding of why these people get treated so poorly. By doing this he would have a clearer understanding of the shame and humiliation that these people hold with them everywhere.
You brought up how jurors are more likely to find a defendant guilty when the defendant is a different race, and the victim is the same race as the juror, which creates a problem if race is being viewed as a primary factor in the case. Unfortunately, as we know, racial disparities are apparent throughout every phase of our justice system. For example, black individuals are three times as likely to have their cars searched by the police compared to their white counterparts, in addition to being more likely to be pulled over (Racial disparities, 2014). On a larger scale, racial disparities in sentencing decisions are also imposed much more harshly for black individuals than white individuals in the United States. Furthermore, black males in the
The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) found “a pattern of evidence indicating racial disparities in the charging, sentencing, and imposition of the death penalty.” Moreover, the study reached the conclusion that a defendant in a capital case was much more likely to be given the death sentence if the murder victim was white. Sadly, “the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim.”
In 1976, the United States Supreme Court was given the opportunity to abolish death sentences, but they voted in favor of allowing executions. The years prior to the 1976 vote were marred by inconsistencies on the behalf of these judges, as they changed their minds on the legality of the death penalty three times. Furthermore, the discrepancies in the way minorities are executed versus that of white people is alarming, showing the rampant racism that exists in the judicial system. The racial biases in how death sentences are given, as well the inconsistencies of the Supreme Court during the years leading up to the legalization of executions, should cause the United States to rescind the death penalty.
Being sent to Death Row is the highest prosecution a criminal could be sentenced to and the process when determining of someone deserves a death sentence is a very bias decision. Since 1977 when capital punishment was restored there has been about 20,600 homicides and only about .7 death sentences for every 100 homicides has been given in the Cook county. The decision to impose a death sentence is not only based on the crime done but also the race of the victim. Attorneys at a state level has a less formal guide when giving death sentences. It is commonly seen how race plays a major role in the justice system. As apart of attorney protocol of determining if the death sentence is given it is seen black males will be given a higher sentence versus a white male even if the crimes where similar. In this article “Disparities on Death Row” published in Grumman points out the unjustness in the justice system. Through ethos, pathos, and logos Cornelia Grumman effectively persuades her audience to spread the issues of capital punishment assignment.
Twenty two years after the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was constitutional, the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) released a study examining the trials and sentences of 667 Murder convictions in Philadelphia between 1983 and 1993. The data shown above is a comparison of the races of the criminals and their victims.The DPIC found that around 15% of all black defendants were sentenced to the death penalty whereas, only 2.6% of white defendants were sentenced to the death penalty. That is a substantial difference that leads a reader to believe that our criminal justice system is in fact not colorblind. In our country we have a strong prejudice against the black community. The study shows that when a white person is murdered,
Also another study also say’s that, “The rate at which eligible black defendants were sentenced to death was nearly 40% higher than the rate for other eligible” (Dieter) This shows clearly also that the amount of black defendants sentenced to death is nearly 40% higher than any other person eligible,so that means that black defendants are most likely to get a death sentence than anybody else which shows that our judicial branch has some racism in its roots when it come to the death
While the death penalty has been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States, many American citizens believe that racial discrimination is a major factor in deciding who will be legally punished by death. Because a large portion of the population of the United States fears that the justice system in America is not color blind, studies have been conducted in order to investigate the fairness in the administration of the death penalty.
The death penalty is systematically racist with studies showing African Americans having a stronger presence in our current judicial system than other minorities. The National Association of the Advancement of Colored People reports that “together African Americans and Hispanics comprised 58% all prisoners in 2008” (NAACP). Based solely on these statistics, readers cannot conclude that African Americans are living in a biased system. Additionally, The FBI Uniformed Crime Report shows that African Americans are responsible for a total of “2,491 murders” committed in 2013(Expanded Homicide Data Table 6); yet these statistics show that there is a strong possibility that sentencing, such as Capital Punishment, applies to a portion of the crimes committed by African Americans. However, there is a growing flaw in our judicial system, which makes relying on these statistics alone to justify why the death penalty is predominantly used in
Over the past forty-years, 1,421 executions have been conducted by thirty-one states and the federal government under the capital punishment sentence (“Facts About the Death Penalty”). Throughout those years however, controversial opinions have aroused on whether the capital punishment should be permitted, its success on reflecting a deterrent effect, and even its morality. Although it is often argued that Capital punishment is appropriate when the crime reaches an egregious extent, the revocation of constitutional securities, discrimination within race and income status, as well as the insufficiency to achieve a deterrent effect prevail over the validation of society’s ultimate punishment–the death penalty.
Race, social status, economic status, level of education, and location of crime are key in the selection of those to be executed. The fate of one man's life often depends on the whims and prejudgements of the jury he is granted. Only 0.3 % of those convinced of crimes eligible for capital punishment are sentenced to death. Of course, one may think it good that such a relatively small number of people are executed, but this number represents the frivolous inclination of the legal system. In fact, since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States in 1976, only five white persons have been executed for killing a black person. This tells the public that the value of their lives depends on their race and the jury's opinion of them. This sets back years of struggle for civil rights in the North America. Society suffers in the face of such and pre-dispose 'justice'. Besides being arbitrary in selection, once selected, the condemned must undergo a series of cruel and torturous events. The enforcement of capital punishment is a sadistic and macabre activity which appeals to the more grim aspects of human nature: wrath and malice. The condemned is told of his execution date and is then confined in a maximum security prison to await his execution. This is hardly a fitting punishment even if one believes that death is the answer. "For there to be an equivalence between criminal homicide and execution," Albert Camus wrote, "the death