Racial Disparities on Executions

University of North Carolina’s Frank Baumgartner release a study on the impact of race, gender, and geography on Missouri executions.  See it here.

Missouri’s use of the death penalty in the modern era has been marked by substantial disparities by the race and gender of the victim of the crime, and by geography.

These disparities are so great that they call in to question the equity of the application of the harshest penalty, adding to growing concerns that the death penalty is applied in an unfair, capricious, and arbitrary manner.

Here are a few key findings of this research:

A person convicted of homicide in St. Louis County is three times more likely to be executed than if they were convicted of the same crime in the vast majority of other counties in the state, and 13 times more likely to be executed than if they are convicted of the same crime in the city of St. Louis.

Homicides committed in Callaway, Schuyler, and Moniteau counties are 30 to 70 times more likely to result in an execution than homicides committed in the vast majority of state’s counties.

Homicides involving White victims are seven times more likely to result in an execution than those involving Black victims.

Homicides involving White female victims are nearly 14 times more likely to result in an execution than those involving Black male victims.

Eighty-one percent of the individuals executed in Missouri were convicted of killing White victims even though White victims are less than 40% of all murder victims in the state.

Even though the vast majority of murders involve an offender and victim(s) of the same race, 54% of the African-American men executed by Missouri were convicted of crimes involving

White victims.

 

Originally in July 10 MOScout.