The death penalty’s uneven application

January 20, 2015

This week Nigeria joined Brazil and the Netherlands in recalling their Jakarta ambassadors in response to the executions of their citizens for drug trafficking on January 11. One Indonesian and foreign nationals from Malawi and Vietnam were killed the same day in what Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders described as “an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.” Meanwhile, in the U.S., jury selection began this month in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, in the highest-profile American death penalty trial in years.  

As this Reuters graphic shows, three people have been executed already in 2015, bringing the total since 1977 to 1,397. Of those, more than one-third have happened in Texas, whose 518 executions more than quadruple those of second-place Oklahoma’s 112. The number of killings nationally has abated since the 1999 high of 98, with 35 people being put to death in 2014. In a November interview with The Marshall Project, Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a blunt assessment of those the country has put to death:

“I disagree very much with Justice Scalia’s certitude that we have never put to death an innocent person. It’s one of the reasons why I personally am opposed to the death penalty. We have the greatest judicial system in the world, but at the end of the day it’s made up of men and women making decisions, tough decisions. Men and women who are dedicated, but dedicated men and women can make mistakes. And I find it hard to believe that in our history that has not happened.

I think at some point, we will find a person who was put to death and who should not have been, who was not guilty of a crime.”

Despite having just 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States incarcerates 25 percent of the world’s inmates; one in one hundred Americans are behind bars in the country’s estimated 6000 jails, at an expense of $70 billion per year. New sentencing guidelines with a retroactive clause make 46,000 inmates eligible for sentence reduction, and 16 states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty, but the U.S. penal system still suffers from well-documented ethnic and racial disparities. This problem extends to the death penalty, which is applied less than evenly, with, according to the Marshall Project, cost serving as a deciding factor in localities that can’t afford the trial and appeal processes. And if there is one thing that deserves equality and certitude, it is the state-sponsored killing of people.

executions

 

5 comments

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THE DEATH PENALTY: SAVING MORE INNOCENT LIVES

The death penalty saves more innocent lives, in three ways, than does life without parole (LWOP) (1,2).

No credible case of an innocent executed, in the US, at least since the 1930’s (1,2).

Since 1973, (a) there have been 14,000 – 28,000 actual innocents murdered by those known murderers that we allowed to murder, again – recidivist murderers (two different recidivism studies from different years) (1) (b) up to 200,000 have been murdered by those criminals we have released or not incarcerated (1).

The evidence that the death penalty deters some is overwhelming (1,2).

The evidence that the death penalty deters none does not exist (1,2).

Death is feared more than life. Life is preferred over death. What is feared more deters more. What is preferred more deters less.

The “exonerated” and “innocent” released from death row is an obvious fraud, easily found by fact checking, yet, most often, simply passed onto the public by the media, aiding in that fraud, even though the anti death penalty folks have admitted the deception (3).

1) The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues
http(COLON)//prodpinnc.blogspot(DOT)com/ 2013/10/the-death-penalty-do-innocents-m atter.html

2) OF COURSE THE DEATH PENALTY DETERS: A review of the debate
and
MURDERERS MUCH PREFER LIFE OVER EXECUTION
99.7% of murderers tell us “Give me life, not execution”
http(COLON)//prodpinnc.blogspot(DOT)com/ 2013/03/of-course-death-penalty-deters.h tml

3) The Innocence Frauds

Innocence Project Invents False Confessions
250% error rate in “confessions”
http(COLON)//prodpinnc.blogspot(DOT)com/ 2013/10/the-innocence-project-invents-fa lse.html

70-83% of the anti death penalty folks claims of death row exonerations are false. see 3-13

The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy
http(COLON)//prodpinnc.blogspot(DOT)com/ 2013/04/the-innocent-frauds-standard-ant i-death.html

Journalism professor accused of framing innocent man for murder as part of his campaign to abolish death penalty in Illinois, Daily Mail, November 10, 2014,
www(DOT)dailymail.co.uk/news/article-282 9019/Journalism-professor-accused-framin g-innocent-man-murder-campaign-abolish-d eath-penalty-Illinois.html

Posted by dudleysharp | Report as abusive

Abolish death penalty please.

Posted by Regular | Report as abusive

Race, ethnicity and crime statistics.

For the White–Black comparisons, the Black level is 12.7 times greater than the White level for homicide, 15.6 times greater for robbery, 6.7 times greater for rape, and 4.5 times greater for aggravated assault.

For the Hispanic- White comparison, the Hispanic level is 4.0 times greater than the White level for homicide, 3.8 times greater for robbery, 2.8 times greater for rape, and 2.3 times greater for aggravated assault.

For the Hispanic–Black comparison, the Black level is 3.1 times greater than the Hispanic level for homicide, 4.1 times greater for robbery, 2.4 times greater for rape, and 1.9 times greater for aggravated assault.

From

REASSESSING TRENDS IN BLACK VIOLENT CRIME, 1980.2008: SORTING OUT THE “HISPANIC EFFECT” IN UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS ARRESTS, NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION SURVEY OFFENDER ESTIMATES, AND U.S. PRISONER COUNTS, DARRELL STEFFENSMEIER, BEN FELDMEYER, CASEY T. HARRIS, JEFFERY T. ULMER, Criminology, Volume 49, Issue 1, Article first published online: 24 FEB 2011
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.11 11/j.1745-9125.2010.00222.x/pdf

Posted by dudleysharp | Report as abusive

Lead the way Texas. The other states need to pick up the slack.

Posted by RichardShaw | Report as abusive

I cannot understand why we allow this hodgepodge of penalties in this country. Where is the equality? Non-existent. Crime and punishment are havens of injustice.

Posted by Boxerbelle | Report as abusive