Op-Ed: The Enduring Failure To Protect Against Racism

The Enduring Failure To Protect Against Racism

Twenty five years ago this week in a case entitled McClesky v. Kemp, the United States Supreme Court was faced with disturbing proof that race influences who is sentenced to death in the United States. In Georgia, where the case originated, black defendants charged with killing white victims were 4.3 times as likely to receive a death sentence as white defendants charged with killing black victims.

Racial Justice trial: No execution for black inmate, judge rules

In a landmark ruling, a North Carolina judge Friday vacated the death penalty of a convicted black murderer, saying prosecutors across the state had engaged for years in a deliberate and systematic pattern of racial discrimination while striking black potential jurors in death penalty cases. The decision by Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Weeks in Cumberland County, N.C., could help set a precedent nationwide in death penalty cases, which for years have included arguments by black defendants and civil rights lawyers that prosecutors keep blacks off juries for overtly racial reasons.


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