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).
Statistics prove that for many years the death penalty has fallen disproportionately on racial minorities in the United States. For example, since 1930
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.
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.
The study conducted by MSU examined jury selection as well as the decisions made by said juries. “The MSU study of capital charging and sentencing found that those who kill whites are more likely to get the death penalty than those who kill blacks. The MSU study found that a defendant is 2.6 times more likely to get the death penalty if the victim is white.” (ACLU). Following the study, North Carolina passed a law entitled the “Racial Justice Act”. This piece of legislature made it possible for inmates to appeal their sentences due to supposed racial profiling. Since the passing of the law last year, there have been 4 successful appeals. The law doesn’t guarantee that the whole sentence will be reversed; however, it puts in place a system that allows for flaws in the length/severity of the sentence to be readdressed. The passing of the law as well as the MSU study prove that although there are more minorities being charged for crimes, the charges are of ill-willed intentions.
96% of states have found patterns of discrimination. Since 1977, 48.6% of the death penalty has been used on caucasian criminals, 40.9% on African American criminals, 8.9% on latino criminals, and 1.6 on
Nearly 80 percent of murder victim in cases resulting in an execution have been white while 50 percent of murder victims are white 82 percent was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty.Senator RussFeingold stated "we simply cannot say we live in a country that offers equal justice to all Americans when racial disparities plague the system by which our society imposes the ultimate punishment" (senator RussFeingold 108th congress 2003). A 2007 report concluded that one-third of African American death row inmates in Philadelphia would have received sentence of life improsement if they had not been African-American.In 1990, non-partisan US General Accounting found a pattern of evidence Indicating racial Disparities in the charging, sentencing, and imposition of death penalty (Feb 1,2001)."Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life"(Writer Activist and Civil Rights Leader Coretta Scott King Feb7, 2006).
Racism is often an excuse people use to say how unfair the death penalty is against African Americans. This excuse has been proven false in a few studies. More white murderers have been put to death since 1976 then black murderers, showing that the death penalty is not unjust to African Americans and minorities (Fisanick 26).In contrast, almost half of the criminals, on death row are black. Even though that is the case, blacks commit more murders than whites making it proportional (deathpenaltycurriculum.org). Criminals should not be given a lighter or harsher sentence due to their race, but due to the crimes that they committed and the severity of them.
There are many socioeconomic factors missing which could explain the disproportionate representation of African-Americans on death row. Things such as their economic status, education level, and the condition of their families. As we have learned things like family, religion, and education are among the most influential social institutions. If these begin to breakdown, it
The article that I read about the racial bias of the death penalty in the U.S. by David Love explained how southern states are responsible for the vast majority of African American executions in the United States. Love explicitly stated that “the application of the U.S. death penalty is unfair, arbitrary, and racially biased.” Most disturbingly, the article explained that whether or not a capital punishment defendant receives the death penalty does not depend on the facts of the case but more so on the race of the defendant and the race of the victim. Moreover, even the county in which the case was prosecuted can play a role in capital punishment sentencing.
The ethnicity of a defendant in a capital case should not play a role whatsoever in their sentencing. However, it plays a significant and crucial role in deciding who receives capital punishment. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, minorities account for a disproportionate “43% of total executions since 1976 and 55% of those are currently awaiting execution.” An interesting piece of information that I found from the article was that only 12 people have been executed where the defendant was white and the murder victim was black which is disconcerting when compared to the 178 black defendants who have been executed for the murders of white victims. The racial disparities in these statistics are alarming and troublesome.
White Americans receive favorable treatment due to racial disparity in the justice system due to a modern stereotype that, based on the color of your skin, you are considered a threat. There are many cases of wrongful convictions based on skin color – a man of color will often receive a longer sentence than a white man. Of course, there has always been racism in the world – it is inescapable. In a report by Samuel Gross, “Race and Wrongful Convictions”, he claims, “African Americans are more than seven times more likely to be imprisoned for murder than white Americans, and more than six times as likely to be killed in a homicide” (Gross). Considering this, it is clear there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Currently, the American justice system is biased in its treatment of black men and for society to progress, this issue
The injustice that comes from this prosecution isn’t taken as seriously as it should be, with it ruining lives of loved of victims and the victims themselves. A study by Katherine Beckett, details how jurors in Washington State were 3 times more likely to impose the death penalty to a person of color than a white person. Deaths that have included white victims make up 80% of Capital cases, while these victims only make up one half of all murder cases. By 2002, 12 cases of the defendant being white and the murder victim being black have been sent to the death penalty, while 178 cases of the defendant being black have been executed. Discrimination in a court of law that relates to the death penalty correlates directly with the prosecution and defense provided. 94.5% of elected prosecutors that reside in death penalty states are white, even going as far as 100% white in 9 states like Washington and Tennessee. These statistics showcase how the legal system is much more harsher and likely to punish people based on their skin
A study conducted by Loyola University found that race and gender played a significant role in determining who faced the death penalty. The study and its findings will be available in the "Loyola University Journal of Public Interest Law." According to Black Enterprise, one example provided is the "more than 15,000 black male homicide victims in Louisiana between 1976 to 2011, and those killings have resulted in three executions. (In those cases, 62 defendants were sentenced to death.)". This is contrasted to 1,300 white
The article that I read from Amnesty USA was about how the race of homicide victims affects the results of whether or not a defendant in a capital case will receive the death penalty. The article provides a graph that showed how death row inmates who have killed white victims have been executed 77% of the time. However, death row inmates who have killed African American victims have only been executed 15% of the time. Since 1977, the vast majority of defendants in capital cases have been executed for killing white victims, even though African-Americans make up more than half of the total number of homicide victims.