This paper "Racial Disparities in Capital Punishment" will examine the issue of racial disparities in contemporary criminal justice. From the case studies, it is apparent that racial disparities are prevalent in capital punishments and there is an urgent need to address the problem…
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The study also established that the number of blacks on death row was higher compared to white defendants who had committed similar offenses.
Scott (2008, pp 2-6), conducted another study on race and capital punishment in Harris County in the state of Texas, which hold the infamous reputation of being the capital of execution in the United States. The study was in agreement with the Philadelphia findings by establishing that the racial orientation of both the victim and defendant played a crucial factor in a meeting of capital punishments. In the study, Scott (2008, p5) found that the likelihood of imposing a death penalty on black defendant was higher than on white defendant. In addition, a death sentence was more likely to be imposed in cases where a white person was the victim than when the victim was black. Another important finding on race and capital punishments showed that District Attorneys were more racially prejudiced than the jury was (Baldus, et al. 1998, pp1680-89). These studies demonstrate that no matter the objection of legal technocrats, racial disparities exist in a determination of capital punishments in the United States.
` These findings bring to attention the ability of a judicial system to rise above the historical racial prejudices that purported superiority of white people over their black counterparts in the United States. In addition, they have also raised the question of whether the life of a certain race is more valuable than of another. Law courts in different states in the country have been consistently denying that the obvious racial disparities are not sufficient to prove racial biases in each particular case (David, & George 2003). This denial is of particular concern given that many states and federal governments in the US have passed legislation of addressing racial discrimination in employment and other areas such as housing.
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Some raise questions over ethical acceptability of the issue as well. The societies have in the past punished the criminals by sentencing them to death but now with the modernization of the world, there are many nations which have abolished the death penalty.
A punishment which was put into effect in 1500 in England was opposed by many academics in 1750 which included Cesare Beccaria who was the Italian jurist; Voltaire who was the French philosopher; and, Jeremy Bentham and Samuel Romilly who were the English law reformers.
A handful of countries have stopped capital punishment since 1900 and by the beginning of the millennium, at least two-thirds of the world no longer impose capital punishment (Hodgkinson and Shabas 1). There is a longstanding debate between the abolitionists or those who seek to remove the death penalty and those who believe in its traditional effect of retribution.
The Supreme Court's decision in Furman v. Georgia declared all existing capital statutes to be in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. But this was again reversed in Gregg v. Georgia. The death penalty remains arbitrary and capricious. ACLU states that the U.S.'s capital punishment process is fraught with error.
According to Robert Ruby’s “Capital Punishment’s Constant Constituency: An American Majority,” capital punishment has long since been a heated topic of debate of fairness and of constitutional rights and ethics. Between the years of 1972 and 2007, the Supreme Court has gone through many moments of indecision in concerns of the capital punishment.
The death penalty is one of the most contentious topics and only those damned to the wages of this indisputable sin surpass it. Minorities like Hispanics, Latinos and African-Americans aggregate this ongoing barrage of prejudice.
Supporters of capital punishment are of the view that in the absence of capital punishment, people may engage in more criminal activities. In their opinion, crime rates cannot be controlled without strong
The practice is not uniform across the states in the US. Some of the states do not allow capital punishment while others have the law permitting capital punishment. However, execution procedures may differ. As of May 2013, the District of Columbia and 18 other States have abolished the capital punishment for any kind of crime whatsoever.
In the two articles, the authors have extremely two different views concerning capital punishment or death penalty in the United States. The United States is among those countries which have capital punishment as one of the penalties that criminals can face. In the first article, the author is advocating for the elimination of capital punishment.
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