Report Shows Racial And Geographic Disparities In Executions

2000

The U.S. Justice Department releases a 12-year study of the federal death penalty. The study finds that since 1995, 80 percent of the cases in which federal prosecutors called for the death penalty involved defendants who were racial minorities (more than half of them African American).

Additionally, the study shows that federal prosecutors are nearly twice as likely to seek the death penalty when a minority defendant is charged with killing a white person than when a nonwhite person was killed; but when a white defendant is charged with killing a nonwhite person, federal prosecutors are less likely to seek the death penalty than when the victim is white.