From 1995 to 2000, federal prosecutors sought Death Penalty for 183 defendants; 74% were minorities .
Of the 21 people on death row as of 2001, 81% were black or Hispanic.
Among black defendants found guilty of murdering a white person:
57.5% of defendants with " stereotypically black " features -- broad noses, thick lips, dark skin and hair -- were sentenced to death .
24.4% of men who were rated as less stereotypically black were given the death sentence.
Among black defendants found guilty of murdering a black person:
45% of the " stereotypically black " defendants were sentenced to death .
"In 82% of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e., those who murdered whites were found more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks.”
- United States General Accounting Office, Death Penalty Sentencing, February 1990
RACE OF DEFENDANTS EXECUTED IN THE U.S. SINCE 1976
BLACK: 425 people or 34.93%
LATINO: 91 people or 7.15%
WHITE: 692 people or 56.06%
OTHER: 25 people or1.85%
NOTE: The federal government counts some categories, such as Hispanics, as an ethnic group rather than a race. DPIC refers to all groups as races because the sources for much of our information use these categories. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976
NOTE: Number of Victims refers to the victims in the underlying murder in cases where an execution has occurred since the restoration of the death penalty in 1976. There are more victims than executions because some cases involve more than one victim http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976
State Judges face re-election, therefore they are seeking to gain many guilty verdicts to look “successful” and “tough on crime”
Judges who hear appeal cases “serve as important rectifiers of injustices perpetrated by prosecutors or resulting from false eyewitness identification.” However, many judges were former prosecutors (Falk pg. 148).
In New York, there are 1250 judges. “These judges have little education. Some are not even high school graduates. They include hair dressers, state troopers, and phone company technicians, among others.” (pg. 147).
Prosecutors: withhold evidence that casts doubt on the defendant’s guilt, making statements to the jury that might bias them toward imposing a death sentence, striking people from the jury who might hesitate to vote for capital punishment, and other acts of misconduct.
“ One of the most atrocious suck confessions was coerced from two Chicago boys, aged 7 and 8, who were pressured by the police to confess to the murder of an 11-year-old girl. Interrogated without lawyers or their parents, alone and defenseless, the boys told the police what these “law enforcers” wanted to hear (Falk).
Falsely accuse and win “because the victim’s of false accusations and false prosecutions are usually poor and defenseless” (pg. 35).
“ Their own reelection depends on the public’s belief that the prosecutor has gained large numbers of convictions” (pg. 34).
"Rodney Reed Hearing Stirring Bastrop County." KXAN News, 25 Mar. 2006. Web. 07 Nov. 2010. <http://disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=207906;article=14197;title=Against Death Rows>.
Robinson, Bruce A. "Facts about Capital Punishment - the Death Penalty." ReligiousTolerance.org by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 1995. Web. 08 Nov. 2010. <http://www.religioustolerance.org/executj.htm>.
Applegate, B. (2006). The Myth that the Death Penalty is Administered Fairly In R. Bohm, & J. T. Walker (Eds.), Demystifying Crime and Criminal Justice (pp.158-166). Los Angeles: Roxbury.
Falk, Gerhard. The American Criminal Justice System: How It Works, How It Doesn't, and How to Fix It . Praeger Publishers, 2010. Print.
Tabak, Ronald J. "The Egregiously Unfair Implementation of Capital Punishment in the United States: 'Super Due Process' or Super Lack of Due Process?" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 147.1 (2003): n. pag. JSTOR . Web. 14 Nov. 2010.< http://www.jstor.org/stable/1558124 >