The Death Penalty Essay Research Paper Jay

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The Death Penalty Essay, Research Paper Jay Banner November 15, 2000 Criminal Justice 12-12:50 The Death Penalty The death penalty what a very controversial subject. I personally have a very strong opinion on this matter, I personally think that we should use the death penalty a lot more than we do, instead of placing murderers, rapists, and people who commit treason in prison for life or letting them out on parol. People that commit the most heinous of crimes should receive the most heinous of consequences. Isn’t that just the most fair way to deal with those offenders of the law? From 1930, the first year of which statistics are readily available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, to 1967, 3,859 people were executed under civil jurisdiction in the United States.

During this period of nearly half a century, over half (54%) of those executed were blacks, 45 percent were white, and the remaining one percent were members of other racial groups. The majority of those executed were men; 32 women were executed from 1930 to 1967. Three out of five executions during that period took place in the southern U.S. The state of Georgia had the highest number of executions during the period, totaling 366 ? more than nine percent of the national total. Texas followed with 297 executions; New York with 329; California with 292; and North Carolina with 263. Most executions ? 3,334 of 3,859 ? were for the crime of murder; 455 prisoners ? ninety percent of them black ? were executed for rape; 70 prisoners were executed for other offenses. During the same

period, the U.S. Army executed 160 people, including 106 exections for murder, 53 for rape, and one for desertion. The U.S. Navy has executed no one since 1849. One of opponents’ popular false claims is that it is the race of the victim which determines who is on death row. 82% of the murder victims in death penalty cases are white. 13% are black, a 6:1 ratio. Opponents, such as Kica Mato, executive director of NAACP, present this fact as evidence that the “system” values white lives more than black lives. If true, then we must wonder why whites represent 56% of those executed, and blacks 38% when blacks have committed 47% of all murders, and whites 38%. Whites are executed at rates nearly 50% above their involvement in murder, blacks are executed at rates 20% below their

involvement in murder. From 1991-94, 34% of murderers have been white, 54% black. Could it be that we just hate white murderers more? Or that we only care about white capital murder victims? Or should we conclude that the “system” focuses its benevolence toward black murderers, but its racism against black victims? How crazy. Such perverse conclusions, by opponents, are expected and serve only to further undermine their quickly eroding credibility. Successful capital prosecutions have nothing to do with the race of the victim or of the defendant and everything to do with the nature of the crimes. The most thorough evaluation of this subject was presented in McCleskey vs. Georgia wherein Federal District Judge, Owen Forester, accurately found that “the best models which

Baldus was able to devise…produce no statically significant evidence that race plays a part in either. Should we balance the scales of justice and execute equally the killer of blacks and whites? Only if you wish to increase the number of black murderers executed. 93% of all black murder victims are murdered by blacks. The overwhelming majority of black on black murders have mitigating circumstances, thereby reducing the numbers of blacks who might otherwise be executed. From 1976-1995, 5 white murderers have been put to death for the murder of black people and 101 black murderers have been put to death for the murder of white people. Opponents falsely contend that this is evidence of racism in the “system.” That 101:5 ratio, or 20:1, is consistent with statistics that show