Originally posted by FMF
What about the ratio of black:white who get executed in the U.S.?
I'm perfectly happy to see the death penalty go all together, so I'm not going to give you an impassioned defense of the death penalty as applied.
However, studies have generally shown that given a murder conviction, the race of the defendant is basically irrelevant in predicting whether a death sentence will be handed out. What has been shown to be significant is the race of the victim. You can read all about the studies in the landmark US Supreme Court case, MCCLESKEY V. KEMP, 481 U. S. 279.
In any case, numbers are numbers and can be fudged in any direction you like,especially if one is willing to ignore all other factors and lack proper controls in one's analysis.
Third, let's assume there is racism in the application of the death penalty. That's terrible. It should be stopped. Better yet, drop the death penalty all together and there won't be a problem. But that has nothing to do with the invalid and unsupported accusations of racism that constantly fly from some people that cause people to stop taking racism accusations seriously when they are substantiated.
Take for example, Harry Reid's playing of the slavery card in the healthcare debate that I posted about in another thread. He didn't say the word racism, but you don't bring up slavery except to play the race card by implication. Take Jason Whitlock's accusation, drawn from thin air, that Tiger Woods is the victim of racism in his recent scandal. Take the NYT's article that was being ripped by the article in my OP. Those are all absurd and unwarranted playing of the race card. All the accomplish is to increase racial tension and cannot possibly be constructive in that they're so vague and don't identify any specifics.