You are on page 1of 1

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Kate Hursh

Race and the Death Penalty
penalty. Looking at the basic surface of the statistics, only 2% of white defendants were issued the death penalty for act of murder while 14.5% of black defendants were issued the death defendants were issued the death penalty and it was only issued to 12.3% of white defendants. These basic statistics show that even though we may deny being prejudiced in the court of law, racisms still plays a major part in our justice system. When we look at the cases individually, it solidifies the theory that skin color is a major factor when deciding a criminals’ fate; Black Defendant and Black Victim: 18% sentenced to death: 76 of 422 Black Defendant and White Victim: 21.2% sentenced to death: 21 of 99 White Defendant and Black Victim: 4% sentenced to death: 1 of 25 White Defendant and White Victim: 14% sentenced to death: 17 of 121 These numbers go to show that no matter what anyone says, the color of your skin, white or black, black or white, will either save your life, or help you lose it. penalty for the same felony. When one looks at the cases within each race, 18.6% of black Unfortunately, our system of justice is colorblind in the administration of the death

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Black Defendants White Defendants Not Sentenced Death Penalty Defendant vs. White Victim Defendant vs. Black Victim