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DEBATING capital punishment at an Ivy League university a few years ago, I was confronted with the claim that since death sentences are more often meted out in cases where the victim is white, the death penalty must be racially biased. It's a spurious argument, I replied. Whites commit fewer than half of all murders in the United States, yet more whites than blacks are sentenced to death and more whites than blacks are executed each year. If there is racial bias in the system, it clearly isn't in favor of whites.
But if you choose to focus on the race of victims, I added, remember that nearly all black homicide is intraracial - more than nine out of 10 black murder victims in the United States are killed by black murderers. So applying the death penalty in more cases where the victim is black would mean sending more black men to death row.
After the debate, a young black woman accosted me indignantly. Ninety-plus percent of black blood is shed by black hands? What about all the victims of white supremacists? Hadn't I heard of lynching? Hadn't I heard of James Byrd, who died so horribly in Jasper, Texas? When I assured her that Byrd's murder by whites was utterly untypical of most black homicide, she was dubious.
Originally posted by slackerwire
Not a single comment? Is this somewhat of a taboo topic?