Black defendants facing trial in Houston – the death penalty capital of America – are more than three times as likely to face a possible death sentence than whites, new academic research has revealed....perhaps they consider that a bonus.
The study, by a criminologist at the University of Maryland, exposes the extent of racial discrimination inherent in the administering of capital punishment in Harris County, the ground zero of the death penalty in the US. The county, which incorporates Houston, Texas's largest city, has carried out 116 executions in the modern era – more than any entire state in the union apart from Texas itself.
This is hardly the first finding of race discrimination in regard to punishment ever conducted. Two years ago studies of the disproportionate use of the death penalty against African Americans ultimately led to its ban in Illinois.
Further, the depressing thin about this latest study is that other studies of the death penalty in other states show African-Americans have had death penalty cases at rates significantly higher than whites for years and it is not showing much improvement.
Other than those states, like Illinois, that have banned it.
[cross-posted at Firedoglake]