Race Factor in Death Sentences (Blog)

The title of this post is the headline of this notable new commentary atThe Huffington Post by Carol Turowski, who serves as Co-Director of the Innocence and Justice Clinic at Wake Forest University School of Law.  Here are snippets from the piece that, I suspect, will get some pro-death-penalty readers going:

The release last week of a study conducted by two law professors at Michigan State University College of Law has reignited the debate over the question of what role race plays in North Carolina when defendants are facing a death sentence. After examining 5,800 cases in North Carolina that were eligible for the death penalty from 1990 through 2009, the study concluded that a defendant in North Carolina is 2.6 times more likely to be sentenced to death if at least one of the victims is white. Moreover, the study found that more than 40 percent of defendants on North Carolina’s death row were sentenced to death by a jury that was either all-white or included only one person of color. It was also determined by researchers that, during the jury selection process, prosecutors statewide struck qualified blacks from the potential jury pool at more than twice the rate of whites….Continue reading this story.