Racial Disparity in death Sentencing

Topics: African American, Black people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 4 (1774 words) Published: October 31, 2013


Racial Disparity in
Death Sentencing
Ressie Spencer
August 2, 2013
Final Term Paper
When you think of the death penalty what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it good or is it bad, right? Well when looking at the death penalty it’s several ways and aspects that you can break the death penalty down-- for example, with regards to racial disparities. A lot of people wonder if racial disparities play a part in death sentencing, or capital punishment. Well to formulate all the questions that people are wondering I’m going to talk to you about (T) racial disparities in sentencing amongst different races, not just black and whites, but Hispanics and other races as well. Racial disparity in sentencing is a problematic issue within the criminal justice system. There are of course people who would like to believe that it does not exist. Yet, there is substantial proof which shows that it does exist. There is a definite reason to be concerned about racial disparity in sentencing. According to the research of Marc Mauer, there has been an "unprecedented rise in the prison population over the past three decades a six fold increase, leading to the incarceration of nearly two million Americans." This can be broken down as follows:" One of every eight black males in the 25-34 age groups is locked up on any given day and 32% of black males born today can expect to spend time in a state or federal prisons if the current trends continue." (Mauer, 2004, p. 79) There are four reasons as to why racial disparity continues to flourish. These reasons are: prosecutorial discretion, ineffective assistance of counsel and procedural bars, venue and jury selection and racism by jurors. (Tabak, 1999, p. 6).According to Tabak these reasons apply in cases in which the death penalty may be sought. Documented research shows that in the states of California and New York prosecutors have broad spectrums for discretion in seeking the death penalty. "The death penalty can be...
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