Race and the Death Penalty in CA

by TChris

It shouldn't take another study to tell us what has been obvious for years: black on white crime is more likely to be punished by death than is white on black crime. Another study nonetheless concludes that the race of the victim is a significant factor in the imposition of the death penalty.

The murder of a white person, especially in nonurban counties, is far more likely to result in a California death sentence than urban crimes against minorities, according to a new study. Death penalty opponents say this new evidence that race and geography dictate how the state metes out capital punishment proves the system is skewed and must be halted at least until it is fixed.

The study will be presented to the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, which was formed last year "to study causes and prevalence of wrongful convictions and wrongful executions in California, and to find ways to improve the system's fairness and accuracy."

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    Re: Race and the Death Penalty in CA (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:11 PM EST
    It is ever so clear that not only can death not be reversed for those found innocent after having been executed, but the prosecution of murder cases and sentencing reflect current racist values of America. So much for the. equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.
    "In 82% of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e., those who murdered whites were found more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks."
    The population of the USA is approximately 75 per cent white and 12 per cent black. Since 1976, blacks have been six to seven times more likely to be murdered than whites, with the result that blacks and whites are the victims of murder in about equal numbers. Yet, 80 per cent of the more than 840 people put to death in the USA since 1976 were convicted of crimes involving white victims, compared to the 13 per cent who were convicted of killing blacks.

    Re: Race and the Death Penalty in CA (none / 0) (#2)
    by Aaron on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:11 PM EST
    TChris This is a recurring phenomenon in America, not much new to report here. So where do you think the root causes for these disparities lay. The courts are little more than a reflection of society at large. For the most part I'd say they are a pretty accurate representation of ingrained societal views of race. It seems that these disparities in sentencing not only apply to the death penalty but seem to be found across-the-board when it comes to the sentencing of white and nonwhite defendants. I don't think you'll find any kind of reform in the court system until you can reform society. And I don't think present-day America is going to seriously consider doing away with the death penalty. There's just too much desire for retribution in our society, that's retribution specifically defined as "The act of taking revenge (harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done)" and not justice. Some studies back in the 90s showed that on average young Black juvenile defendants, male and female, were most usually treated more harshly by judges than their white counterparts. And these sentencing disparities extended to judges of color as well as white judges. Interestingly African-American judges tended to be harsher in their sentencing of African-American youth than they were of white youths charged with the same or similar offenses, even when these youths had similar prior records. More evidence of societal disparities can be found in the media and Hollywood. The case of the two pictures from New Orleans, one of a black youth who was described as a looter, and a similar picture of a white female who was described as finding food. Americans are bombarded daily through the entertainment system of television and movies with images that portray African Americans in a specific light, and most times these images go unnoticed and uncommented upon. ["The racial politics of Hollywood are such that there can be no serious representations of death and dying when the characters are African Americans. Sorrowful black death is not a hot ticket." "Audiences are so accustomed to representations that depict the brutal death of black folks in Hollywood films that no one is outraged when our bodies are violently slaughtered."(Bell Hooks)] With a society that is continually conditioned to view Blacks from a specific unsympathetic perspective by media and entertainment sources, is it any wonder that the court system rather accurately reflects those deeper societal views in the application of the death penalty.

    Re: Race and the Death Penalty in CA (none / 0) (#3)
    by Lww on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    You should be careful what you wish for. If it would make you feel better executing persons who kill black people..... Most black people are murdered by other black people so what you would get is an increase in blacks on death row. It's not about race it's about money and for that reason (not because of the race of the perp or the victim) I think the execution of murderers should be abolished. Why play the race card when it's all about money? Race sells, poor white people don't.

    Re: Race and the Death Penalty in CA (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    LWW-Race disparity in executions is just another reason to abolish the barbaric death penalty. I do not think that there are many here that are arguing for fair executions, the point is to get rid of the uncivilized death penalty, period.

    Re: Race and the Death Penalty in CA (none / 0) (#6)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    LWW-the article was about the disparity between the state sponsored murder of WHITES who kill BLACKS and BLACKS who kill WHITES. Not BLACKS who kill BLACKS-thats another story.

    Re: Race and the Death Penalty in CA (none / 0) (#7)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:15 PM EST
    Actually Narius, I just re-read your statement. Nice rascist spin. You and Jim and the rest of the wrong wingers really need to learn reading comprehension. Or how to phrase an argument.
    what is the problem? Just execute more people commiting murder on black people. As long as we are executing the right person, I won't lose sleep over it. I guess another of looking at it is that CA is too lenient for people who murder black folks, which can be remedied.
    Where to start? 1. Your lead in statement is miseading. It should say "The state needs to murder white people who murder black people at the same rate they murder black people who murder white people." 2. In most cases, we can never know if we are murdering the correct criminal or not. That dog won't hunt these days 3. Won't lose any sleep over it? Good. Then you would make a perfect executioner. Go apply. 4. The only way of looking atthis is that white folks getaway with more than black folks, all else being equal. Money corrupts the legal system. White people, on average, have waaaaay more money than do black people. My solution? Give proper legal representatin to everyone. Not just those with deep pockets. How to do this? Tax the hell out of those that make more than 150K a year. Whats that? Can't do this in the current political climate. Taxes bad. Rich people should not pay taxes, economy tanks when they pay taxes. Initiate Jim's national sales tax, but instead of providing yet another way to publically identify the poor by giving them a card they have to show every storekeeper, give a card to the rich which shows the store keeper to charge them an extra 10% sales tax (90% on yachts, humvees, and private islands)...