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Death penalty administration: Racially biased?

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Anthony B.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Capital punishment: The most extreme penalty for a crime
  3. The death penalty as a fixture
  4. Blacks in Philadelphia
  5. Earlier studies by Congress' General Accounting Office
  6. 1977 to 1993: A million Americans were murdered
  7. The Racial Justice Act
  8. Do innocent people get put to death in the U.S.?
  9. 1994 survey of death-row inmates in U.S. prisons
  10. Conclusion

More than 350 people have been executed in the USA since 1990. The U.S.A. has the highest known death row population on earth at over 3, 300. In 1997 the USA carried out 74 executions--the highest number for the last four decades. Only China, Saudi Arabia and Iran were known to have executed more prisoners. The ramifications of the use of the death penalty in a country as influential as the USA go far beyond its borders. Officials in different countries have suggested that it is a factor in, or justification for, their own decision to retain the punishment. In 1997 government officials from both the Philippines and Guatemala reportedly inspected execution chambers in the USA as part of their research into lethal injection as a method for killing condemned prisoners of 38 states with death penalty statutes, 14 provide that 18 is the minimum age for execution. In 4 states, 17 is the minimum age; while in 21 other states, 16 is the minimum age. There are now 47 offenders who committed crimes under the age of 18 are currently on death row.

[...] prisons revealed that contrary to popular belief, there are more White men living on death row in our nation's prisons than Black men. A survey by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, USA Today, CNN and Gallup found that there are 2,948 inmates on death row. White men make up 49 percent of death-row inmates while Black men make up 40 percent of prisoners on death row. However, the new statistics also reveal there is a disproportionate number of Black men on death row in comparison to the general U.S. [...]


[...] "Relationship of Offender and Victim Race to Death Penalty Sentences in California." Jurimetrics Journal 32, Fall 1991. Klein, Stephen; Rolph, John. "Relationship of Offender and Victim Race to Death Penalty Sentences in California." Langan, Patrick Farrington, David P. "Two-track or one-track justice? Some evidence from an English longitudinal survey." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology pp. 519-546. Katz, Joseph L. "Warren McCleskey V. Ralph Kemp: Is the Death Penalty in Georgia Racially Biased?" Department of Decision Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia. [...]


[...] The Death Penalty center also released a report by Jeffrey Pokorak of St. Mary's University School of Law in Texas, which found that in the 38 states that permit death sentences percent of district attorneys are white.[10] One percent is each black and Hispanic. ``The implications of this study go far beyond the shocking numbers and racial isolation of those in this key law enforcement position, the report said. Abraham's office is among the most aggressive nationally when it comes to seeking the death penalty. [...]

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