If You Support The Death Penalty, You Are Probably White

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"If You Support The Death Penalty, You Are Probably White"

California Executions Death Chamber

CREDIT: (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

A new Pew Research Study reveals that the percentage of Americans who support the death penalty declined from 62 percent in 2011 to 55 percent in 2013 — and that support for executions is driven largely by white people. According to the survey, 63 percent of America’s white population support capital punishment, whereas only 36 percent of black people and 40 percent of Hispanics do.

This racial disparity is unsurprising in light of the way death sentences are often dolled out in this country. Florida, for instance, has never executed a white person for killing a black person. Defendants are 97 percent more likely to receive the death penalty if the victim in question was white, and Alabama follows a similar trend: African Americans are six times more likely to be sentenced to die for murdering white people with college degrees than white people who kill blacks. All told, 32 of the 39 executions that occurred last year were cases in which a white person was victimized.

(HT: Hamilton Nolan)

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