The Effects of Race on Sentencing in Capital Punishment Cases Throughout history, minorities have been ill-represented in the criminal justice system, particularly in cases where the possible outcome is death.
As the 20th century comes to a close, it is evident that our justice system is in need of reform. Similar claims were being raised by three inmates in California based in a preliminary study that showed that whites accounted for only one-third of the homicide victims between andwhile three-fourths of the murderers on Death Row had killed whites.
Smolowe shows this infection by giving examples of two cases decided in February ofboth in Columbus.
And it is not only the race of the defendant that is unfairly being used as a factor in the dispensing of death as a punishment, but the race of the victim as well. In early America, blacks were lynched for the slightest violation of informal laws and many of these killings occurred without any type of due process.
Justice Powell wrote that, to prevail, McCleskey had to prove that the decision-makers in his case intended to discriminate and that the statistical pattern insufficient for this purpose. Such studies show that public support for the death penalty is not color blind and that white support for the death penalty is a form of symbolic racism.
As the Supreme Court stated, society contains an ever evolving standard of decency and it is very difficult to justify the continuation of the death penalty when it is clear that, as a punishment, death is applied in an arbitrary manner.
In the last 47 years, only one white person has been executed for the killing of a black person. Supporters of the death penalty believe when someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed and that the only way to restore the justice is by executing Black defendants are statistically more likely to be prosecuted for a crime than a white person, and more likely to be given the death penalty if found guilty of murder.
When the United States is compared to countries that do not use the death penalty, such as Canada or nations in Europe, it also has a higher homicide rate as well. The first is that there is a possibility of error. We all live in a society with the same basic rights and guarantees.
The Supreme Court Justices decide that the death penalty was being handed out unfairly and according to Gest the Supreme Court felt the death penalty was being imposed "freakishly" and "wantonly" and "most often on blacks" Several years later in Gregg v.
Bohm and Aguirre and Baker find that race is one of the characteristics that has distinguished death penalty proponents from death penalty opponents. With great effort, the judicial controls can begin to battle the racial bias of Americas Judicial system but to completely eliminate such a bias, the people involved in the judicial process must learn to look past the race of the offender or the value of the victim, and instead focus on circumstances of the crime.
In the McCleskey case, the Supreme Court allowed the sentence of death to stand, rejecting the Baldus study as irrelevant. In examples such as these, it becomes evident that racial bias, in any or all of the discretionary stages, becomes racial injustice in the end. The majority of these executions took place in the last decade of the twentieth century as support for capital punishment gained greater political resonance and as federal courts retreated from the degree of oversight and review that existed in the early s: The original version of the study, covering onlyis available here.
Criminals are commonly severe drug and alcohol users, abusers or impulsive individuals. If supporting a death row inmate for the rest their life costs less than putting them to death, and ending their financial burden on society, then the problem lies in the court system, not in the death penalty.
And finally, as stated in the Saint Leo University list of core valuesIntegrity means that people must be "honest, just, and consistent in word and deed," but how can there be integrity in the justice system if the death penalty is being unfairly handed out to minority defendants to a greater degree than others?
It is the foundation on which everything else is built upon. The third argument is actually a rebuttal to a claim made by some supporters of the death penalty. The only method that completely separates cold blooded murderers from our society is the death penalty.
Supreme Court on an appeal by a Georgia inmate and a Florida inmate in two separate cases.
The draft report indicates that race of the victim plays a role in death penalty sentencing. In the past twenty years strict controls have been implemented but the system still has symptoms of racial bias. The second example is of a black man, Jerry Walker, convicted of killing a year-old white man while robbing a convenience-store.
Smolowe also makes the point that Columbus is not alone: Jack Boger and Dr. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has granted relief in only one of capital cases between Georgia the total population of all 36 death rows has grown as has the number of judicial controls used by each state.
Why not execute them and save society the cost of their keep? If the Supreme Court found that arbitrary application of the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment and therefore unconstitutional, then the current application of the death penalty must be viewed as being similarly arbitrary and therefore unconstitutional.
According to the N. The first example is a white defendant named James Robert Caldwell who was convicted of stabbing his 10 year old son repeatedly and raping and killing his 12 year old daughter.
The vote was a closewith the majority opinion written by Justice Powell and the dissent joined by Justices Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, and Stevens.
It removes the burden from taxpayers. Generally, homicides are committed in moments of anger or unprocessed thinking.Statistics show that the poor and minorities are more.
likely to receive the death penalty. Once again, this is a separate issue. Once again, this is a separate issue. It can’t be disputed sadly, the rich are more likely to get off with a lesser sentence, and this bias is wrong.
Essay The Effects of Race on Sentencing in Capital Punishment Cases Throughout history, minorities have been ill-represented in the criminal justice system, particularly in cases where the possible outcome is death. In early America, blacks were lynched for the slightest violation of informal laws and many of these killings occurred without any type of due process.
View this term paper on Death Penalty and Race Arguments. In this issue was raised before the U S Supreme Court on an appeal by a Georgia inmate and a Florida.
The Death Penalty and Race essaysThe death penalty has existed throughout the course of our nation's history and has always been a part of our judicial system. Over time the criminal justice system has taken advantage of the death penalty by applying it differently to individual based on.
View this research paper on Race and the Death Penalty. If the race of the victim is a factor in deciding whether or not the defendant receives the death penalty. Essay about Race and the Death Penalty Words | 9 Pages. The death penalty is one of the most controversial issues on American soil.
Blacks are more likely to face the death penalty than whites in the commission of identical crimes(CNN, ). The history of capital punishment dates back to .Download