Running head: Prisoners Executed from 1977 to 2005
Exercise #2 Prisoners Executed Under Civil Authority by State: 1977 to 2006 Kevan Dunlop Tuskegee University January 27, 2009
1. Problem Identification: Prisoners executed under civil authority by state from 1977 to 2006. I have chosen to research and study capital punishment, because I am from a state that enforces this policy to the up most. 2. Problem Description: The death penalty form 1977 to 2006 has but 1,099 people to death. The three states that have put the must people to death are in order from most to least are Texas with 405 people, Virginia with 98, and Oklahoma with 86. All those states were part of the confederacy with Oklahoma being a territory. The next three states with high numbers of exuctions are also former confederate states. With the facts that the number of people but to death by capital punishment are very high in former confederate states raises the question are African Americans and other minority groups given the same rights to a fair trial. Signs would point to no because there is still racism in the southern states which is evident in the way the last presidential election took place. Most of these southern states are red states which mean its heavily populated by republicans even though some of these people that vote are not wealthy at all and are in poverty as well as the people they resent, but have been taught to vote this way to keep people of color down. I would like to shed light on the different ethnic groups executed especially African Americans. Fourteen of the fifty states dont practice the death penalty; some of those have high numbers of African American communities. With that being said thirty six do have the death penalty and people are executed so a majority of the state do enforce capital punishment. I believe that there is prejudice in the judicial system for minor offenses so with the death penalty the same thing applies. With the southern states alone racial prejudice still exist because people are stuck in the teaching of their ignorant forefathers. When on trial for their crimes shouldnt the defendant have a jury of their peers? How about an evenly diverse group? Or somebody that already dislikes them because of their skin color. As simple as that sounds people of color are put on death row at times because of subliminal prejudice. The high rates of executions in my home state of Texas are the highest of any state yearly. When the black culture is viewed by the public with all the stereotypes does the media look at the history leading up to this culture. Because if they did the truth it would be too great to bear. The history which includes institutional racism, chattel slavery, economic deficiency and uncompromising poverty in the land of the free. If America understood this, the violence observed in the black community would not come as a shock. Our race of people have suffered so much in history from the slave days to modern days its hard to break the cycle when it seems your born with one strike against you.
In my point of view the death penalty should be enforced but with every detail accurate and a non-prejudice court system. Easier said than done I know. African Americans must be smarter in some ways of handling things because they will generally not get the same treatment as their white counterparts. The survival of the black community has started with seeing an African American man in the highest honor in the United States being the first of his kind to be in that office. This being said it gives the media something else to depict on the television than the urban rap culture and fast living that appeals to the youth because that is all they have been taught by the media and society to think they have a legitimate chance to be successful at. This may help the survival of the African American community in so many ways to see a person similar to them handling one of the most important job in the world speaks volumes for kids who have been taught subliminally that there beneath another race. Which would enlighten misguided anger and violence away from the black community because we are just as equal and capable as the next.
3. Findings: The data used ranges from articles and data tables in reference to capital punishment and how African Americans are affected by this as a whole in society. The tables give insight into the numbers of the race, sex and states. When analyzing the tables I kept in mind that even that there are a higher number of whites in jail they make up more of the population outside of jail also. The Bureau of Justice Statics bulletin of Capital punishment 2005 has several tables that follow the quantitative aspects. Not just limited to those graphs but those have several graphs relevant to the topic. The magnitude can be seen in table 344 which show the number of people but to death from 1977 to 2006. The magnitude can also be seen in the numbers of whites compared to blacks and other minorities on death row. The ranking of executions in states puts Texas at the top and Oregon and Wyoming at the bottom with one in this time period. The scope can be viewed on the Bureau of Justice Statics bulletin of Capital punishment tables. Table 2 shows the methods of execution by state as of 2004 to get a feel for the different method that varies by state. Table 3 shows the age requirements by state. Changes can be located on table 9 on The Bureau of Justice Statics bulletin of Capital punishment 2005. The table shows data from as far back as 1930 and it is visible to see the change in some states that have longer executed since the 1977 but did in the 30s and before that. The disparities are shown on table five the differences between Blacks, Whites, Hispanics and other races. Also it shows the differences in gender and education of the admissions and removals of prisoners under the death penalty.
A. Magnitude: Capital punishment is carried out in all but fourteen states. It affects all of America because of the conflicting views of if its right or wrong. Some states such as Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma have above average rates of prisoners being put to death. Compared to Wyoming, South Dakota, and New Mexico that have had just one person each but to death since 1977which can be seen on table 341 and 344. States that were under the confederacy side of the war have a higher rate on executions than the states on the unions side of the civil war. The admissions for people under the death penalty varies by race with whites having a higher admission rate than blacks 14.1% and a higher removal percentage from the death penalty than blacks by 26.3% which can be seen on table 5. B. Scope: This affects thirty six states and every gender and race in those regions that have capital punishment. Table 2 shows the methods of execution by state as of 2004. Table 11 shows time under sentence of people on death row all races, blacks, and whites are excluded in these findings. Table 10 shows the number on inmates executed since 1977. On that table it states that a total of 7,320 have been sentenced to death in this time period of twenty nine year. The black population has 3,005, whites 3, 573, and Hispanic and other races the remainder of 742.
C. Changes: Changes can be located on table 9 ,The table shows data from as far back as 1930 and it is visible to see the change in some states that have no longer executed since the 1977 but did in the 30s and before that. Inmates on Death row rates increased form January 1st to December 31st for the third straight year in 2004. But in 2005 the rates for black prisoners and white prisoners declined. While the other races increased. On table 11 it shows the rates of people put to death from 1977 to 83, eleven people were put to death with nine being white and two being black. In 2006 sixty people were put to death with 41 being white and 19 being black a large increase from that five year period in which my research started.
D. Disparities: There are differences in the number of blacks being executed than whites but whites are the majority in the United States. The Bureau of Justice Statics bulletin of Capital punishment 2005 table 10 shows that 584 whites were but to death compared to 339 blacks and 67 people of Hispanics origin from 1977 to 2005. But there are also more whites in jail on death row. Data table 5 in the same article shows that whites have a
higher chance of getting there death penalty convection overturned. The white prisoners have a 62.4% chance of getting that penalty removed to a lesser one compared to 36.1% for black prisoners. The age for several states available for capital punishment varies according to table 3 in the Bureau of Justice Statics bulletin of Capital punishment. This table says that the state with the youngest age is Oklahoma were you can be capital punished at the age of thirteen so that speaks volumes as to why there rate of executions is so high with them ranking third. Virginias age limit is fourteen and they are second on the list of capital punishment. Last but not least is the number one executioner of prisoners on death row is Texas with the age limit to be punished by capital punishment is seventeen. 4. Data Tables
U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics
BulletinBy Tracy L. Snell BJS Statistician
Capital Punishment, 2005HighlightsStatus of the death penalty, December 31, 2005 Executions during 2005a Texas Indiana Missouri North Carolina Ohio Alabama Oklahoma Georgia South Carolina California Connecticut Arkansas Delaware Florida Maryland Mississippi TotalaFor
December 2006, N