blacks and capital punishment

blacks and capital punishment - The Effects of Race on...

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The Effects of Race on Sentencing in Capital Punishment Cases T Throughout history, minorities have been ill-represented in the criminal justice system, j particularly in cases where the possible outcome is death. In early America, blacks were lynched b for the slightest violation of informal laws and many of these killings occurred without any type of w due process. As the judicial system has matured, minorities have found better representation but r it is not completely unbiased. In the past twenty years strict controls have been implemented but i the system still has symptoms of racial bias. This racial bias was first recognized by the Supreme r Court in Fruman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972). The Supreme Court Justices decide that the d death penalty was being handed out unfairly and according to Gest (1996) the Supreme Court felt S the death penalty was being imposed "freakishly" and "wantonly" and "most often on blacks" b Several years later in Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976), the Supreme Court decided, with d efficient controls, the death penalty could be used constitutionally. Yet, even with these various w controls, the system does not effectively eliminate racial bias. c Since Gregg v. Georgia the total population of all 36 death rows has grown as has the a number of judicial controls used by each state. Of the 3,122 people on death row 41% are black 4 while 48% are white (Gest, 1996, 41). This figure may be acceptable at first glance but one must g take into account the fact that only 12% of the U.S. population is black (Smolowe, 1991, 68). 1 Carolyn Snurkowski of the Florida attorney generals office believes that the disproportionate d number of blacks on death row can be explained by the fact that, "Many black murders result
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blacks and capital punishment - The Effects of Race on...

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