Should capital punishment be suspended because of racial disparities

But the question that lies is beyond the validity of imposing capital punishment but rather the effect of color or race that comes with the number of those sentenced for capital punishment. The effects of anger and retaliation are a development of social discrimination and prejudice fueled not just by the wrong act or omission but also the bigotry that comes with such hate. Capital punishment then becomes an added tool for racial discrimination rather than a positive effect of retributive justice. Researches made In 2002, a Governor of Maryland Parris Glendening initiated a research to be done by the University of Maryland regarding capital punishment and although criminologist Ray Paternoster found that the race of the defendant was not significant in penalty-eligible cases, race played an important factor whether the prosecutor sought for a death penalty punishment in a case (Hodgkinson and Shabas 8). There is not just racial disparity but also prosecutor disparity. At least 43% of total executions since 1976 and 55% of those awaiting execution is for people of color (American Civil Liberties Union, 2003). The General Accounting office in 1990 showed reports that race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty. In numerous jurisdictions researchers and case laws have given sufficient proof of racial disparity among persons under death row. In Philadelphia, a study made in 1997 by David Baldus and statistician George Woodworth found results that between 1983 to 1993, a 38% increase in the possibility of a person being eligible for death penalty because the defendant was black. In North Carolina, a study released by the university showed that between 1993 to 1997, a three and a half increase in the possibility of incurring a death sentence when the victim is white rather than black. The area of jurisdiction varies from the number of the race’s population and possible historical background on racial prejudice. A good example is in the state of Georgia, where University of Iowa law professor David Baldus found that prosecutors sought death penalty for 70% of the black defendants with white victims compared to the minimal 15% white defendants who had white victims. (American Civil Liberties Union, 2003). Further effects of this study will be explained in the latter part of the discussion, as the Baldus study was attempted to be used as a defense in a Supreme Court case (McCleskey v. Kemp (1987). Prosecution disparity is eminent in these cases, it seems that racial discrimination the begun with society is also reflected to the administration of justice. It is the prosecutors who have the discretion in deciding whether cases should seek death penalty. Even in the choice of possible jurors, the prosecution takes control such as in the state of Philadelphia, where prosecutors move to remove 52 % of potential black jurors compared to a mere 23 % potential jurors of other races. Jeffrey Pokorak conducted another good research proving racial disparity. He related the important effects of race and gender of all the lawyers authorized to prosecute death penalty cases that evidenced racial disparity. In the 38 states studied, 98% of the prosecuting attorneys are white and almost all are male (Hodgkinson and Shabas 15). Supreme Court Decisions With this issue being established, the

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