Discrimination “We have three classes of homicide” I was told by the chief of detectives in a large southern city. “If a n____ kills a white man that’s murder. If a white man kills a n____ that’s justifiable homicide. If a n____ kills another n____ that’s one less n____.” (Raymond Fosdick, American Police Systems, 1920)
Discrimination Review of history/background: Before the Civil War -- Slave Codes were discriminatory, but executions were relatively rare (Espy File). After the Civil War -- "Jim Crow" system, immigrants and surplus populations, upsurge of exec & lynchings in the north, south, and west.
Discrimination Link to lynching -- Both formal/legal and informal/lynching enforced white racist domination in North & South. The Southernization/Racialization of both the DP and lynching from 1900 to WW II -- and decline elsewhere (Assimilation of immigrants)
Discrimination Link to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s & 1960s – part of a broad attack on discrimination in the South. Furman v. Georgia 1972 -- reluctant federal courts forced to get involved (Moratorium Campaign)
Discrimination Continuing discrimination in post-Furman DP -- “Overwhelming evidence” (more on this later) McCleskey v. Kemp 1984 -- Supreme Court refuses to stop racial discrimination in death sentences Another “disgrace to American Jurisprudence”
Discrimination Is racism the key difference between the US and Europe --- why they abolished the DP and we didn't? No real long term parallel in Europe to B/W discrim like in our history. (landowners/peasants & assimilation processes)
Discrimination Why/how does DP Discrim happen? “Institutional Discrimination” Mostly Unintentional/Unconscious/Cultural -- not usually the traditional open practices of prejudice and race-hate.
Discrimination From “The Death Penalty in Black & White” (DPIC): Discretion/bias and mid-range cases vs. extreme cases -- discretion Disc/bias and the race of prosecutors making charging decisions -- nearly all white
Discrimination Open racism in court -- prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, juries. Many examples in DPIC “Death Penalty in Black and White” (This kind of racism has decreased a lot!) “Black robes and white robes” comment
Discrimination Reproducing the culture of institutional discrimination (police culture and court culture) “Fitting in” is prerequisite for success. “Practicality” not “racism”
Discrimination The response to institutional discrimination – denial/pretend that it doesn’t exist. Scapegoating - “Isolated cases” Blaming Juries and “Bad Apples”
Discrimination The result of all of this: “Racial bias permeates the system” But in a subtle and complicated form that is hard to document and denied by workers in the system. Requires statistical analysis of outcomes.
Discrimination The "Racial Justice Act" and the politics of the DP. The 1997 ABA call for a new moratorium - - DP problems getting worse, not better.