The death penalty is a punishment of execution given to someone who commits a capital crime. The death penalty cost less than a life in prison sentence and deters criminals from offenses; however, the death penalty can be seen as a form of revenge and innocent people can be wrongly accused. Studies show an equitable amount of evidence to support the theory that the death penalty is founded on systematic racism, bias toward African Americans and preys upon the impoverished in America. This makes the death penalty an inexcusable form of punishment.
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
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The death penalty is a capital punishment that is put into effect for major crimes. The death penalty is a very controversial topic in the United States and throughout the world. There was a time period were the death penalty was banned for about four years in 1972-1976. Many feel that the death penalty is justice because it is retribution toward criminals who have committed heinous crimes. However the death penalty is inhumane and should be abolished in the United States.
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
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 has been major sources of racial discrimination in our nation's criminal justice system, the selective prosecution of African-Americans in particular. The American criminal justice system must recognize that the racial inequities have poisoned the criminal justice system. The American system of justice is a racially biased, two-tiered system; one for minorities and one for whites. In particular, African-Americans are disproportionately targeted, arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to long mandatory prison terms and execution (www.crimenet.org). The U. S. has gone from prison and jail population of about 300,00 to more than 2 million, most assume that this surge in imprisonment was due to a surge in violent crime but when incarceration
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
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.”
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 role of race in the history of American politics is important, as a country with a longstanding legacy of racial inequality. This legacy seems to continue to modern day through the use of the legal system, with people of color far more likely to be imprisoned than their white peers. In fact, “African Americans represent 39.4% of the incarcerated population, yet only 12.6% of the total population; whites represent 34.2% of the incarcerated population, but 72.4$ of the total population” (Shuford, Nationwide Empirical Findings 4). Specific to capital punishment, “the victim’s race is the single best predictor of whether the death penalty will be imposed,” with the African Americans up to twenty times more likely to be executed for killing a white person than the reverse (Shuford, Nationwide Empirical Findings 4). In the same way, black Americans are ten times more likely to be imprisoned for a drug charge than are white Americans (Shuford, Nationwide Empirical Findings 4). This may be related to a “racial empathy gap” which leads people to assume that “relative to whites, blacks feel less pain” (Silverstein).
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,
PHILADELPHIA – The death penalty has been controversial issue in the United States since the 1976 Supreme Court case that legalized it. Since the death penalty was ruled constitutional, the debate on whether race affects the courts decision has been in major debate. In 1998, the Death Penalty Information Center published The Death Penalty in Black and White which examined the death penalty sentences for 667 murder convictions between 1983 and 1993 in Philadelphia courts. The findings of the study present that there could be a relationship between the race of the defendant, race of their victim, and in the death penalty sentence.
Despite the fact that African Americans make up to just over thirteen percent of the nation’s population, more than forty percent of those currently on the federal death row are African American. Many may say or believe that the justice system is fair or honorable but the truth is that the
Racism and socioeconomic class play a very large factor in considering who is executed in America. An alarming statistic shows that 70% of all executions are those in which the victim was a white person (Wade 2013). “Since 1977, the overwhelming majority of death row defendants have been executed for murdering white victims, although African-Americans make up about half of all homicide victims” (Wade 2013). The old adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ unfortunately stands true when considering the representation that is provided for indigent defendants accused of murder.
It’s undeniable that race plays a huge factor in determining whether or not an offender receives the death penalty. Although, any offender of a serious crime can be eligible for the death penalty, African American men are sentenced to the death penalty at a much higher rate than anyone else. In fact, the odds of an offender being sentenced to the death penalty increases exponentially if the offender is African American. Additionally, data has shown that African American men are disproportionately and unfairly sentenced and there is no other group of people who are sentenced to death at the same rate that African American men are. The reason for this is because capital punishment has always been profoundly affected impacted by race. It’s also
The death penalty, also known as capital punishment is a legal procedure in which a state executes a person for crimes he/she has committed. This punishment has been implemented by many states, and is normally used for atrocious crimes, especially murder. It is also used on crimes against the state such as treason, crimes against humanity, espionage, and violent crimes while other states use it as part of military justice. There are mixed reactions on capital punishment depending on one’s faith, and the state they come from. In my view, I am not in favor of death penalty, as I strongly believe that, death penalty is unacceptable and an inhumane practice for it denies one the right to live. Death penalty does not deter crime, it is an act