Capital Punishment Essay: Blacks And The Death Penalty

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Dana W. Walker Professor James R. Eisenberg CJ 370 April 29, 2004 A Debate in Capital Punishment: Blacks and the Death Penalty In the United States, approximately 13,000 people have been officially put to death since the colonial period. During the 1930s, up to 150 people were executed per year. Due to the lack of support of the death penalty from the public, the rate went almost to zero by 1967. The United States Supreme Court banned the death penalty in 1972 because of their decision on Furman v Georgia, and then it was later authorized for continuation in 1976 due to their ruling on Gregg v Georgia. The book, The Death Penalty in America, provides a table from 1995; the total number of blacks on death row at that time was 1,246 versus 1,470, the total number of whites (Bedau 65-66). One thing to keep in mind is that blacks make up only 12.8% of our total population (D’Alessio & Stolzberg). Racism is a hateful word. Many people look the other way and deny its existence. But not only does it exist; it subsists in one of the most sensitive areas of our judicial system, capital punishment. Many…show more content…
These states were white-supremacy states. Black Americans did not vote, and they were suppressed and oppressed in countless ways. The criminal justice system in the South was no friend of the southern blacks. Gerald C. Brandon, a southern white lawyer from Mississippi, told the facts about southern justice when he addressed the Mississippi Bar Association in 1910. He said “it is next to an impossibility to convict even upon the strongest evidence any white man of a crime of violence upon the person of a negro…I have even heard attorneys make the appeal to a jury that no white man should be punished for killing a negro.” He also stated “it is next to an impossibility to acquit a negro of any crime of violence where a white man is concerned” (Friedman
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