¶ … Race on Sentencing in Capital Punishment
Different nations and states have the crime categories that they categorize as worth the death penalty, these, in most cases are crimes that are considered to be serious and are directly against humanity or can accrue to situations that cost lives. These laws are however growing less popular with time and people are condemning them from individuals to the civil society with the sole reason that there is no room to correct the behavior for the criminal and on the basis of sanctity of life.
Within the U.S.A. death penalty majorly applies to the murder convicts and some other serious capital offences. It has been ruled by the Supreme Court that capital punishment is constitutional and not just some cruel and unusual punishment as provided for in the 8th and 14th amendments of the constitution (National Museum of Crime & Punishment, 2008).
Majority of the states are against the death penalty and each state has various measures that are meant to regulate the application of the penalty so that there is a prevention of possible execution of innocent people. This is one of the biggest undoing to the death sentence of capital punishment within the U.S.A.
The judgments seem to be influenced by the race the suspect comes from and hence the inclination toward the black suffering the greatest has been evidenced as will be discussed below.
According to American Civil Liberties Union (2003), in the 1980s prosecutors pushed for death row for 70% of the black defendants with white victims as compared to 15% of white victims with black victims. This serves to indicate that the likelihood of a person being subjected to capital punishment if the victim is white is higher than if the victim is black. It is also noted therein that of the 38 states that permit the death penalty, on average 98% of the prosecutors are white. The attorneys recommended 36% of cases with lack defendants for death penalty and yet only 20% of the cases with black defendants in the year 2000. This is an indication that this is a persistent trend that is not dying away any soon.
American Civil Liberties Union goes on to indicate that by 2003, out of every 18 prisoners who were listed on the federal death row, a staggering 16 of them were either African-American, Asian or Hispanic. Indeed between 1995 and 2000 of all the capital cases recommended by the U.S. attorneys, 80% of them involved people of color or from the minority groups. This percentage comes down marginally to 72% after the review by the attorney general, a statistics that speaks of the racial discrimination that exists within the justice system.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (2010), the latest statistics…
It is difficult to argue that the death penalty is being applied evenly and fairly as required by the Supreme Court's Furman v. Georgia decision. In fact, it could be argued, with statistics like these, that the application of the death penalty is being influenced by racial factors. If the race of the victim is a factor in deciding whether or not the defendant receives the death penalty, then the
However, on the contradicting side, the question is "Can death penalty really deter criminals?." Several studies show it does not. An online source indicates the following evidences. From 1976 to 1996, the number of executions per year in the United States has increased from 0 to just under 60. The homicide rate per 100,000 population has remained constant at just under 10. Criminologists who belong to the American Society of Criminology,
" This article puts forward the notion that when analyzing the "...relationships between minority groups and mainstream populations," the issue of whether the use of "formal control is applied fairly and consistently between these different groups" is a pivotal place to begin (Ruddell, et al., 2004). It is pivotal because "injustice" not only can have "a corrosive effect" on the perception of the fairness (or unfairness) of the criminal justice system;
Statistics show that black murderers are far more likely than white murderers to get the death penalty, especially if the victim was white. Blacks make up 12% of the population but 40% of the population on death row, as noted. Georgia can serve as a case in point. Statistics show that a black man accused of killing a white person in Georgia is substantially more likely to receive the
public to scholars, the death penalty has come under severe criticism in contemporary epoch. The debate between the supporters and criticizers of capital punishment has been going on for decades. Is death penalty constitutional? What are the factors that may render it unconstitutional? Is racial discrimination one of such factors? The paper uses a set of law review articles and highlights racial discrimination in death penalty in United States, discusses
Capital Punishment Is Capital Punishment Cruel and Unusual? What is cruel and unusual punishment? Does the definition of cruel and unusual punishment change with time and changing social mores? Does the determination of whether or not a punishment is cruel and unusual depend on the crime committed, the criminal being punished, or both? These are all very important questions, which must all be examined before one can determine whether or not capital