Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Penalty Cases - Research Paper Example

Comments (1) Cite this document
Max Weber, a proponent of symbolic interaction theory, asserts that people act as per their own interpretation on the meaning of the world.The philosophy was later introduced by George Mead to American Sociology in the 1920s…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER94.9% of users find it useful
Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Penalty Cases
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Penalty Cases"

Sur Supervisor Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Penalty Cases Max Weber, a proponent of symbolic interaction theory, asserts that people act as per their own interpretation on the meaning of the world. The philosophy was later introduced by George Mead to American Sociology in the 1920s (Crossman, 2013). There is a widespread belief in the society that ethnicity plays a role while awarding death penalty to the convicts. My partner also believes so; the other day he initiated the discussion on this matter. My Partner: I strongly believe that racial discrimination does exist in the US criminal justice system. Although the US constitution speaks about equal rights and equal treatment to all yet this discrimination widely prevails. I: What made you think like that? Well, I will take recourse to social process theory also called symbolic interaction to address your viewpoint on this. We all provide subjective meanings without thinking what is correct objectively. We all interpret one another's behavior and that is how society is constructed. Everyone knows that criminal is a criminal regardless of their ethnicity and background. If people from a particular socio-cultural group do more heinous crime then it is quite likely that more people from that particular group will be awarded death penalty. Won’t you agree with that? My Partner: But, the thing is that racial minorities are meted with the death penalty in large numbers. For example, between 1995 and 2000, 183 accused were convicted for death penalty by federal prosecutors. Out of this, 74 percent belonged to minorities. Does this not mean that some sort of a personal bias prevails against minority group? I: You may be right in stating that more numbers of minority group have been convicted death penalty yet it cannot be an evidence of any systemic racism behavior. I would remind you of a meta study conducted by the General Accounting Office. The study involved with a variety of surveys on death penalty and race. Most of the studies had already established that Black defendants always perceived capital-sentencing outcomes and this was a general perception all around but not necessarily, it could be correct. My Partner: But still I would say that the race of defendant and the race of victim are major factors in deciding as to who is given death punishment in our country. This is not only mine but a general perception in the matter. I: Would you please elaborate on this? My Partner: Houston is considered the death penalty capital of the US. And I came across a recent news report that said that a Black defendant with homicide charge faces much higher chances for a possible death sentence than any White for the similar charge. I: I can’t say with surety what is the reality there but I would cite you a report from the US Justice Department issued in 2001 that declared that there is no evidence of ethnic or racial bias as such in general sense as commonly perceived. The report reveals that homicide offenses and capital punishment charges are not uniformly distributed across all ethnicities and population groups. The report says about federal prosecutors that they all are learned legal professionals and they strongly condemn discrimination based on racial attitudes or ethnicity. So perception about discrimination on capital punishment does not hold validity as such. My Partner: I have some other evidence to prove my point. As you might be aware that Racial Justice Acts were passed in North Carolina in 2009 and Kentucky in 1998. The Acts said that if race becomes a significant factor in the imposition of capital punishment, then death will be converted into life imprisonment. The Act takes into account even selection of jury while a trial proceeding is initiated. The formation of these Acts itself proves that racial discrimination does exist, otherwise why should such Acts be made at all. I: I know that you have a solid ground to prove your point but then do not forget about a case in North Carolina in which a 38 year-old Marcus Reymond Robinson with the charge of murdering and kidnapping a 17-year old boy was awarded death penalty but then taking advantage of this Act and with the fact that jury was made up of nine Whites and two Blacks, defendant's lawyer could take advantage of the situation and convert death penalty into life successfully. Now imagine another situation where you as a White man are facing a trial for Black homicide crime before a jury. And prosecutors remove all White jury from the trial room and leave you at the mercy of all Black members of the jury to judge your crime and its intensity. Won’t you feel frightened then? The point is that we need to come out of our narrow approach and be more rational in our approach to the issue. If we cannot trust each other as human beings then the best solution is to remove death penalty for all. Let the highest penalty be only a life term for the convict. As such, I believe that we have come a long way from our biased attitudes but it needs to be given some more time for our thinking to get more refined. My Partner: I agree with you that it is always better to remove death penalty from the penal code across the US so that one cannot point out racial discrimination on this critical aspect and jeopardize the social fabric of the nation. Works-Cited Crossman, Ashley. Symbolic Interaction Theory. Web. 5 May. 2013. Robinson, Bruce. Racial Bias. 2006. Web. 5 May. 2013. Toure. Put To Death For Being Black: New Hope Against Judicial System Bias. 2012. Web. 5 May 2013. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Research Paper”, n.d.)
Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Research Paper. Retrieved from
(Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Research Paper)
Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Research Paper.
“Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Research Paper”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (1)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
alvenasipes added comment 2 months ago
Student rated this paper as
At first, I thought 2 of pages is too much for such a issue. But now I see it could not be done smarter. As the author starts you see the complexity of the question. I’ve read all at once. Wonderful paper

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Penalty Cases

Death Penalty

...opportunity escapes the prison cell. The remedy is simply to execute once and for all. This explains their argument for the death penalty. Many states have started abolishing the death penalty conviction. It is only the countries like US, South Korea and Japan which are still practicing the capital offence punishment. But, even these countries are slowly coming to reality and in many democracies; the capital offence punishment is almost ending. In conclusion, we have observed divergent views on the issue, but I noticed some important observations stated on the subject. That it makes no different in cases where the...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Death penalty

...?Death Penalty In a world characterized by all forms of crimes, law and justice are very important aspects in the society. There are different levelsof crimes. Some are civil while others are capital. Governments and religious organization dictate the course of justice to the offended and the punishment to the convicted in the society. There are various forms of justice and punishment applied by governments and religious groups. Different crimes require different punishments. Among such punishments is the death penalty. However, in also most all cases the power to prescribe a punishment...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Death penalty

...Jane Doe Introduction Death penalty is when a government takes the life of an individual as punishment for wrong doing.This form of punishment is the most extreme punishment that a government can use on its citizens. It has been used at different times in many societies in all parts of the world, though mainly as a last resort in a small number of cases. At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly all countries practiced some form of capital punishment, but it is no longer used in most countries (Stearman, 2007). The benefits and drawbacks of the death penalty are debated widely. Can it ever be justified? And if it can, under what...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Death Penalty

...:// Total 4958 It can be seen from the above table that death penalty was certainly on decline until at least 1980 in US; however, in subsequent decades it went up considerably. It would be further interesting to see how these executions are distributed racially. Race Whites Blacks Hispanic Native American Asian Numbers (%) 630 (57%) 377 (34%) 076 (07%) 014 (01%) 008 (01%) Source: Death Penalty and Racial Bias Amnesty International (2010) runs campaign to remove the death penalty in the USA by going through...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Death Penalty

.... Opponents portend that the practice is unusual and cruel as it undermines human dignity. However, the idea of referring the penalty as undermining the human dignity is a one sided school of thought; the victims view is opposite. Some of the disadvantage of the death penalty is that it does not decrease the rate of murder crimes. The most prominent challenge related to its application is its finality. Discussing finality in, Chaput portends that once the sentencing is carried out there is no retracting like in the case of lesser punishments. The contradicting views among the opponents and proponents revolve around which crimes are...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Social Inequalities

...Laws. Specifically, given that punishments for felony and homicide are severe (possibly taking on the longer sentences, the death penalty or life sentences without any prospects of a parole), criminals have recently become more desperate to escape police dragnets, to the point of having higher predisposition to attack the police. This is despite the fact that usually, criminals at first are not intent on killing. Secondly, it is notable that Western’s account on why incarceration rates have increased so much since the 1970s is consistent with the controversial results that have emanated from the Three Strikes Laws. In California for instance, up until 2011, the state had been treating...
11 Pages(2750 words)Essay

Death penalty

...the possibility of imposing the death penalty as a means of deterring crime and rendering punishment to criminals. It would be difficult to gauge and decide that things would have been better off for people like Michael Blair, but in considering the cases on mentally retarded individuals, being convicted of crimes they did not fully understand, is even more heartbreaking. But such was the case for Tony Chambers and Johnny Paul Penry (Robinson). In 33 states which allow the death penalty, 13 of these states also allow the execution of the mentally retarded. Penry is said to have an IQ between 53 and 60. An IQ below 70 is...
5 Pages(1250 words)Research Paper

Death Penalty

...? Death Penalty Death Penalty Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, has, in the past, been exercised by many jurisdictions (Gaie, 2012). However, these days, only 58 nations actively exercise it and 97 nations have done away with it. The rest, nearly 50 states, have not utilized the law for a decade. They, however, permit it in exceptional situations for instance during wartimes. It is an issue of active controversy in numerous states and countries, and positions can differ in a single cultural region or political ideology. In the European Union (EU) member countries, the European Union Charter of...
3 Pages(750 words)Research Paper

Death penalty the Southern states; (2) race – blacks receive the death penalty at a 38% higher rate than other defendants; (3) legal representation – indigent defendants are often assigned incompetent defense attorneys; (4) jury misperception and bias.3 The advent of modern DNA testing has led to several exonerations of Death Row inmates, calling the execution of the death penalty into question by its’ opponents. Erroneous convictions are attributed to pressure on police and prosecutors to solve homicides, often resulting from the politicization of a crime, lack of eyewitness testimony, heightened publicity, juror bias, limited...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Death penalty

...Death Penalty: Is it Right or Wrong? Full Death penalty has always been an issue debated through the years, whether it is rightor wrong. There are different ideas about this argument and despite many discussions there are still a lot of matters that come from generation to generation, making it a never ending argument. The intensity of a crime is one of the vital things taken into consideration for the punishment given to a person and the philosophy of taking a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye is said to be a necessary step to take in implementing punishments. On the other hand, the question arises if such is humane to the educated law makers and...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Research Paper on topic Disparity in the Conviction Rates of Different Ethnicities in Death Penalty Cases for FREE!

Contact Us