Quote Of The Day

“Becker mentions the possibility of racial discrimination in execution. Studies done some years ago–I do not know whether they would be descriptive of current practice–revealed the following pattern: murderers of black people were less likely to be executed than murderers of white people. Since blacks were more likely to murder other blacks than to murder whites, this meant that blacks were less rather than more likely to be executed than whites, relative to the respective murder rates of the two races. (Blacks commit murders at a much higher rate than whites.) The explanation offered was that judges and juries tended to set a lower value on black victims of murder than on white ones. From this some observers inferred that capital punishment discriminates against blacks. The inference is incorrect. The proper inference is that murderers of blacks are underpunished”. –Richard Posner, professor of law at the University of Chicago and a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, blogging over at the Becker-Posner blog on Capital Punishment

2 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • you might want to check more stats on that. i’ve more often read that, in cases when the crimes they commit are the same, blacks are more likely than whites to receive the death penalty .

  • That may be so, and there is also cases where when the victim is black, the person tended to be less likely to be executed than when the victim is white. So just as in your example the way to fix it would be to make sure that the white criminals got the same punishment as the black criminals, so in my case the way to fix it is to make sure that those who kill blacks are executed at the same rate as those who kill whites.

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