Racism in the Death Penalty

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Racial Characteristics and The Death Penalty


Racism in America has, is, and always will be an argument we fight to end for decades to come. Our Nation was grounded upon the belief that white men and women are superior to all other races. This has proven to be true across several different platforms. From slavery, to prohibition and the war on drugs, the criminal justice system in America has always had large discrepancies between whites and all other races. Specifically between the whites and African Americans. In this paper I will be analyzing cases, statistics and beliefs throughout America to view the prominence of unfair sentencing of capital punishments among African American criminals. Truth in Numbers

As an American, one would like to believe equal rights are a shared experience. In a perfect world everyone is protected and the legal system looks out for the best interest of everyone. Legally, we have a system that is supposed to be unbiased in regards to race, ethnicity, gender and social class position. Although some argue this is the truth, several statistics have revealed a truly broken system. Taking place right in the very place where “order” is supposed to be restored, the United States Federal Courts. Between 1930 and 1967, fifty-four percent of the 3,859 people put to death, by rulings from US civilians, were African American (Lane, 2010). This statistic is not only frightening but also un-proportionate. It doesn’t add up with the black’s share of the population nor with the percentage of serious crimes committed by African Americans. One famous study that took place in Georgia helped to prove this inequality even further. David C. Baldus and his colleagues researched over 2,00 homicide cases. The results showed that African American defendants were almost twice as likely to receive the death penalty than white defendants. They also found that in cases where a black man murdered a white victim they were approximately four...
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