Racism can be a political problem which has an impact on sentencing laws. The color of the defendant’s skin can affect their chances of receiving the death penalty. Black defendants convicted in the murder of white victims are 78% less likely to die than those convicted in white of similar crimes. In McCleskey V. Kemp this was a significant issue. The Supreme Court disregarded statistical evidence to show the presence of racial bias in the execution. 35 Years after McCleskey and Kemp: Legacy of Racial Injustice, n.d. Even though the court accepted the same data in court in order to prove racial bias in employment and education, it ruled that this information was not legally relevant. Accordingly, the court ordered the defendant to prove that he suffered from racial prejudice in the course of the proceedings. The death sentence will be scrutinized closely as many experts attempt to show a racial bias against the defendants, especially when their victim happens to be white.
My agreement is that death penalty cases disproportionately affect minority defendants. The historical context of the death penalty case supports this argument. 89 percent of executed convicts for rape cases that involved white victims were African-American (35 years after McCleskey and Kemp: A legacy of racial injustice in the administration of the Death Penalty). This has been a continuing practice into today’s age. At least 75% executed convicts have been convicted of the murder of white victims – despite the fact that both the black and white murder rates are the same. Research shows that white victims were not affected by either the degree of crime or the number of deaths. According to research, white victims were more likely to see their offenders executed. David Baldus, who studied more than 2000 murder cases from 1973 to 1979, came up with this conclusion. Prosecutors sought death sentences for the two-thirds black offenders who claimed to have been victims of white crime. However, only 19% of those times when these roles were reversed, the criminal was white while the victim was black, the prosecutors were able to get the death penalty.