"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Sunday, July 23, 2006

No Racism in Death Penalty, says Rand Study

Can't leave without trumpeting this one:

Read all about it here. Bottom line: it's the heinousness of the crime, not the race of the perpetrator, that drives death penalty decisions. Sorry, abolitionists, you'll have to find a new canard: the one about the death penalty being a racist institution is dead.


karl said...


Read the report. It specfically states that the in state prosecutions, and then lists the states, there has been found a direct link to race (usually race of victim) and the death penalty. Note too, that the study finds a geographical dispartiy and limits itself to only the Clinton era.

Anonymous said...

Karl, Are you saying that Tom didn’t read the report. This is a very damning accusation that you should make not make lightly, since it implicates his legal competence. Perhaps you mean to simply quote relevant language of the report and show that his interpretation is “problematic” because it conflicts with the plain text of the report.

athanasius said...

I hate to be rude and introduce facts into the discussion, but for a pack of lawyers you all seem to have ridiculously little patience for them. I read the report. It says little about state prosecutions and much about federal prosecutions. But the ultimate conclusion is that there is insufficient evidence to definitively conclude that there is or is not a strong relationship between race and results of death penalty cases. It does, however, say that there is no relationship between race and the preferences (expressed in courtrooms and motions and other tribal activities) of federal prosecuting attorneys and their superiors.

Lesson: read reports (not summaries), learn something about statistics, and try to be humble.

Anonymous said...

athanasius, Perhaps a cite and a nice selection of text would make your point. While Tom is technically a lawyer, when he posts on here, his posts are not aimed at lawyers, but lay people. Amongst lawyers it is acceptable to bait the lay people because they do not have the intellectual capacity to deal with legal arguments, so there is little reason to do them the courtesy of actually checking one’s sources. Personally, I don’t care why people are getting executed.

athanasius said...