Cultural Diversity: Racial Disparity in the Application of the Death Penalty

Essay by kjemyatta41 May 2006

download word file, 9 pages 1.0

The death penalty is one of the most controversial issues on American soil, surpassed only by those condemned to the wages of this irrefutable sin. Minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics, aggregate this continuous barrage of discrimination. Follow along, and rediscover capital punishment from a black writer's point of view.

Blacks are more likely to face the death penalty than whites in the commission of identical crimes. Governmental murders are alive and well in the good ole USA. The history of capital punishment dates back to the days before Christ. The Old Testament adage "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," has survived throughout the ages despite the New Testament's rendition of "thou shall not kill". Today's American victims endure a more demure of style of cruel and unusual punishment; death by lethal injection has been selected to replaced barbaric traditions of the past.

Statistics prove that for many years the death penalty has fallen disproportionately on racial minorities in the United States.

For example, since 1930 nearly 90% of those executed for the crime of rape in this country were African-Americans, and currently, about 50% of those on the nation's death rows are from minority populations representing only 20% of this country's population. Nearly 40% of those executed since 1976 have been black, even though blacks constitute only 12% of the population. And in almost every death penalty case, the race of the victim is white. Of the 229 executions that have occurred since the death penalty was reinstated, only one has involved a white defendant for the murder of a black person (Race and the Death Penalty, 2003). Does this mean that minorities are inherently criminals, or is there an undercurrent of racial segregation affecting the views of the majority in our society?...