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    Default Study finds racial imbalance on death row

    Study finds racial imbalance on death row

    By DAVID KRAVETS
    Associated Press Writer

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- More condemned men and women are on California's death row for killing whites than for murdering people of any other race, despite there being more black and Hispanic murder victims, according to a new study.

    The study, to be published in the Santa Clara Law Review, tallied the races of California homicide victims in the 1990s.

    It concluded suspects who murdered whites were almost four times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed Hispanics, and three times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed blacks.

    "To put it bluntly, there's apparently different values being placed on victims from different racial and ethnic groups," said Northeastern University criminal justice professor Glenn Pierce, a co-author of the study. "That's what the pattern would suggest."

    When it came to the race of the defendant, the study concluded race did not contribute significantly to whether prosecutors sought the death penalty or jurors recommended death.

    Instead, it was the race of the victim that was paramount.

    Pierce said his conclusions in "The Impact of Legally Inappropriate Factors on Death Sentencing for California Homicides, 1990-1999" mirrored studies in other states.

    The study focused on 263 California death sentences in the 1990s. There were 302 death sentences issued during that time, but the study eliminated 39 cases that involved multiple victims of different races or ethnic groups.

    Of the 263 sentences, 142 were handed down for killing whites, 44 for killing blacks, 52 for killing Hispanics and 25 for killing victims of other races.

    During the same period, killed were 8,136 whites, 9,338 blacks, 14,089 Hispanics and 2,037 victims of other races.

    The study also noted that some counties, particularly rural ones, issued death sentences disproportionately to metropolitan areas.

    Rural Kern County, for example, issued 10 death sentences in the 1990s for 661 murders. San Francisco had 910 murders, but prosecutors there never sought the death penalty.

    "This study forced the people in California to confront the unfairness of how the death penalty is applied in this state," said Ellen Kreitzberg, a Santa Clara University professor and director of its Death Penalty College. "The decision of who will live and who will die in California turns on arbitrary and unlawful factors such as the race and ethnicity of the murder victim or the location where the murder was committed."

    Kent Scheidegger, director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, noted that the study showed California did not racially discriminate against murder defendants. He called that "an accomplishment to be celebrated."

    "It's not racial prejudice. It's the choice of the voters in a county," Scheidegger said. "The voters of Kern elect a harsher DA. The voters in San Francisco select a DA who doesn't do the death penalty at all. That's democracy."

    In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in a Georgia case, said studies like California's were not grounds for reversing death cases, unless racial bias could be proven by an individual defendant.

    California has 645 inmates on death row. It has executed 11 people since reinstating the death penalty in 1977.


    Ahhhh, but what it dosnt say is those who committed these crimes were black, white or what ever. I think that piece of the puzzle was left out. If half of the perps are white and they killed white people what difference does color make human is human? You are still gonna fry.
    Last edited by CaptainS; 09-22-2005 at 04:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainS
    Study finds racial imbalance on death row

    By DAVID KRAVETS
    Associated Press Writer

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- More condemned men and women are on California's death row for killing whites than for murdering people of any other race, despite there being more black and Hispanic murder victims, according to a new study.

    The study, to be published in the Santa Clara Law Review, tallied the races of California homicide victims in the 1990s.

    It concluded suspects who murdered whites were almost four times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed Hispanics, and three times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who killed blacks.

    "To put it bluntly, there's apparently different values being placed on victims from different racial and ethnic groups," said Northeastern University criminal justice professor Glenn Pierce, a co-author of the study. "That's what the pattern would suggest."

    When it came to the race of the defendant, the study concluded race did not contribute significantly to whether prosecutors sought the death penalty or jurors recommended death.

    Instead, it was the race of the victim that was paramount.

    Pierce said his conclusions in "The Impact of Legally Inappropriate Factors on Death Sentencing for California Homicides, 1990-1999" mirrored studies in other states.

    The study focused on 263 California death sentences in the 1990s. There were 302 death sentences issued during that time, but the study eliminated 39 cases that involved multiple victims of different races or ethnic groups.

    Of the 263 sentences, 142 were handed down for killing whites, 44 for killing blacks, 52 for killing Hispanics and 25 for killing victims of other races.

    During the same period, killed were 8,136 whites, 9,338 blacks, 14,089 Hispanics and 2,037 victims of other races.

    The study also noted that some counties, particularly rural ones, issued death sentences disproportionately to metropolitan areas.

    Rural Kern County, for example, issued 10 death sentences in the 1990s for 661 murders. San Francisco had 910 murders, but prosecutors there never sought the death penalty.

    "This study forced the people in California to confront the unfairness of how the death penalty is applied in this state," said Ellen Kreitzberg, a Santa Clara University professor and director of its Death Penalty College. "The decision of who will live and who will die in California turns on arbitrary and unlawful factors such as the race and ethnicity of the murder victim or the location where the murder was committed."

    Kent Scheidegger, director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, noted that the study showed California did not racially discriminate against murder defendants. He called that "an accomplishment to be celebrated."

    "It's not racial prejudice. It's the choice of the voters in a county," Scheidegger said. "The voters of Kern elect a harsher DA. The voters in San Francisco select a DA who doesn't do the death penalty at all. That's democracy."

    In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in a Georgia case, said studies like California's were not grounds for reversing death cases, unless racial bias could be proven by an individual defendant.

    California has 645 inmates on death row. It has executed 11 people since reinstating the death penalty in 1977.


    Ahhhh, but what it dosnt say is those who committed these crimes were black, white or what ever. I think that piece of the puzzle was left out. If half of the perps are white and they killed white people what difference does it make? You are still gonna fry.
    This has absolutely nothing to do with race. What one has to look at is not solely "murder", but what degree and type of murder it is.

    The death penalty is most often used for pre-meditated murder or murder of police officers or murder that is committed while in the course of committing another crime.

    I would suggest to you, that in CA, there is a disproportionate number of street killings...killings that occur in the course of a dispute or as a result of gang violence. These types of murders are normally not eligible for the death penalty, no matter if the victim is pink and purple.

    This is a perfect example of the manipulation of statistics in order to get the desired outcome.

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    George I couldnt agree more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    This is a perfect example of the manipulation of statistics in order to get the desired outcome.
    George, how dare you imply that someone would use race or a study for the furtherance of a political cause. You are WAY out of line and there is no substantiation for such an accusation.

    Harry Truman: "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics."
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

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    Maybe there aren't enough whites in some people eyes that are convicted and sentenced to death.
    I don't know.I just figure that 100% of people on death row are there because a jury tried and convicted them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson
    Maybe there aren't enough whites in some people eyes that are convicted and sentenced to death.
    I don't know.I just figure that 100% of people on death row are there because a jury tried and convicted them.
    Silly you. How dare you have faith in the justice system.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

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    Hey,it worked when I was on jury duty.Just like being a volunteer firefighter,it only works when people take the time to serve.
    My friends couldn't get all the juicy details from me because I can be a closemouthed SOB when I feel like it.When I told them which trial I was sitting on,they all knew the defendents were goners,but it got funny when I told them I was the jury foreman.The usual response was"So,tomorrow,you'll be the prosecuting attorney?"

    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie
    Silly you. How dare you have faith in the justice system.

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