This evidence shows that the state and federal appellate courts�
who should pay special attention to those accused of the most horrific crimes�
evidently continue to listen to some voices more than others.
-from Who Survives on Death Row?
Blacks & Latinos who kill whites are far more likely to be executed than whites who kills whites. But Blacks sentenced to die for killing other non-Whites are less likely to be executed than other condemned prisoners, the study shows. �Examining who survives on death row is important because less than 10 percent of those given the death sentence ever get executed,� David Jacobs, co-author of the study and professor of sociology at Ohio State University, told the campus� Research News. �The disparity in execution rates based on the race of victims suggests our justice system places greater value on White lives, even after sentences are handed down.� Jacobs touts his study as the first to examine whether the race of victims affects the likelihood that a killer will pay with his life. Along with Zhenchao Qian, professor of sociology at Ohio State, Jason Carmichael of McGill University and Stephanie Kent of Cleveland State University, Jacobs examined outcomes of 1,560 people sentenced to death in 16 states between 1973 to 2002.
From that study:
The fierce U.S. disputes about race in the past probably make this fissure the most resilient and influential division in contemporary U.S. politics (Goldfield 1997; Jacobs and Tope 2007; Key 1949). A majority�s ethnocentric views and that group�s inclination to view minorities as trespassers enhance such a group�s presumption that they should retain exclusive claims over important rights and privileges (Blalock 1967; Blumer 1958; Bobo and Hutchings 1996). Hostility and entrenched beliefs about a majority�s �rightful� position are solidified by the political struggles that occur when minority groups seek to alter these arrangements (Blumer 1958). According to threat theorists, when large minority populations endanger their dominance, whites often react by supporting law and order measures that at least indirectly target these minorities.
Findings are supportive. Racist views are more widespread in cities with more black residents (Fosset and Kiecolt 1989; Quillian 1996; Taylor 1998). An enhanced minority presence produces added votes for anti-minority candidates (Giles and Buckner 1993; Giles and Hertz 1994; Heer 1959) who are likely to endorse harsh criminal punishments. With crime rates held constant, Liska, Lawrence, and Sanchirico (1982) and Quillian and Pager (2001) find that fear of crime is greater in cities or neighborhoods with more black residents. Larger minority populations lead to additional police officers (Jacobs 1979; Kent and Jacobs 2005). Other findings show that the death penalty is likely to be legal in states with the highest percentages of African American residents (Jacobs and Carmichael 2002), while the number of death sentences is greater in states with the largest African American populations (Jacobs, Carmichael, and Kent 2005).
These results suggest that severe punishments will increase in areas after a growth in minority presence.. . .
American Sociological Review, 2007, VOL. 72 (August:610�632). This article is available only from subscription databases at the moment.
Doug Berman aided in explaining for the researchers the legal procedures involved & hopefully he’ll have more in the coming days.
[h/t EMF & BET]