Capital Punishment Essay: Racial Bias In The Death Penalty

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“The law may be color-blind as it is written, but not as it is enforced.” Racial bias in the death penalty can be traced back to Furman v. Georgia, where handing down the death penalty sentence, unfairly, constituted as a cruel and unusual punishment, violating the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The reinstatement of the death penalty with its new sentencing guidelines, implemented by the Supreme Court, was to ensure that the death penalty sentence was used in a constitutional way. Despite these guidelines, somehow, racial bias has found a way to thrive. It has been documented that an individual is more likely to receive the death penalty in a case where the victim is White than in cases where the victim is Black. Furthermore, it has been documented that in some jurisdictions, Black defendants are given the death penalty …show more content…

2) Death sentences were sought or imposed significantly more frequently as punishment for capital offenses against persons of one race than as punishment of capital offenses against persons of another race. 3) Race was a significant factor in decisions to exercise peremptory challenges during jury selection. Under the Act, if a defendant successfully shows that racial considerations played a significant part in the prosecution’s decision to seek or impose the death sentence, the court is required to vacate the death sentence and to resentence the defendant to life imprisonment without the possibility of

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