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USA: RACIAL DISPARITIES IN DEATH PENALTY BEGIN WITH INVESTIGATIONS AND ARRESTS

October 26, 2018:

A study of more than three decades of homicide arrests suggests that racial disparities in arrests and policing practices introduce an additional layer of bias in the application of the death penalty in the United States. While earlier research has documented that the race of victims affects prosecutors' decisions to seek the death penalty, and juries' and judges' decisions to impose death sentences, a new study by Professors Jeffrey Fagan of Columbia University and Amanda Geller of New York University has found that those disparities appear even earlier in the process, at the arrest stage. "Homicides with white victims are significantly more likely to be 'cleared' by the arrest of a suspect than are homicides with minority victims," the authors write. Since death-penalty prosecutions must begin with an arrest in a capital-eligible murder, these clearance rates create a disproportionately larger pipeline of white-victim cases. Fagan and Geller examined every homicide recorded in the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports from 1976 to 2009, uncovering county-level patterns in the "clearance rate" (the rate at which cases are closed by the arrest of a suspect). Counties with higher proportions of minority residents had lower clearance rates than counties with whiter populations, but the authors say that county characteristics alone do not completely account for the disparities. Rather, they say that broader policing practices also play a role. "Inequalities in policing, such as the underpolicing of the most serious crimes in the most disadvantaged communities, coupled with overpolicing of the least serious offenses in those same places, seem to extend to the initial stages of the production of death sentences and executions," they write. They attribute the lower clearance rates of black-victim cases in part to distrust of police in communities of color, resulting in less willingness to cooperate in investigations. "Perceived injustices can disincentivize citizens from cooperating with the police," they explain, "including both 'petty indignities' and egregious acts of police violence." Thus, discriminatory policing practices contribute to disparate clearance rates, which in turn contribute to the discriminatory application of capital punishment. The study is: Jeffrey Fagan and Amanda Geller, Police, Race, and the Production of Capital Homicides, Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-593, July 12, 2018.

(Source: DPIC, 25/10/2018)

MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES
BAHRAIN: COURTS UPHOLD DEATH SENTENCES AGAINST TWO ANTI-REGIME ACTIVISTS
IRAN: A FEMALE PRISONER SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ADULTERY
PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN ASIA BIBI HAS DEATH PENALTY CONVICTION OVERTURNED
SOUTH DAKOTA (USA): RODNEY SCOTT BERGET EXECUTED
BANGLADESH: PARLIAMENT PASSES LAW WITH DEATH PENALTY FOR YABA OFFENCES
SINGAPORE: DRUG COURIER GETS DEATH PENALTY AFTER ESCAPING GALLOWS LAST YEAR
INDIA: HC COMMUTES DEATH PENALTY OF RAPE CONVICT
UAE: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH AFTER STABBING NEIGHBOR 13 TIMES
KENYA: GARDENER SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING JACOBUS VAN DER GOES
DRUG PRODUCERS EXECUTED IN SOUTH CHINA
SINGAPORE: FAMILY’S LAWYER CONFIRMS PRABU HANGED
PAKISTAN: ARMY CHIEF CONFIRMS DEATH SENTENCE FOR 14 MILITANTS
BANGLADESH: THREE TO DIE FOR KILLING SCHOOLBOY IN KUSHTIA
MALAYSIA: MAN TO HANG FOR KILLING WOMAN IN CONFINEMENT
BANGLADESH: DEATH PENALTY FOR CARRYING YABA, HEROIN
BANGLADESH: 3 TO WALK GALLOWS FOR KILLING MEHERPUR AUTO DRIVER
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED AT SIRJAN PRISON
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: U.S CITIZEN FACES DEATH PENALTY FOR SELLING JERUSALEM LAND TO JEWS
IRAN: MAN HANGED AT ZAHEDAN PRISON
ZAMBIA: 5 NYIMBA MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
BAHRAIN REVERSES DEATH SENTENCE AGAINST TWO CITIZENS
IRAN: MAN HANGED AT ARDEBIL PRISON
IRAQ: MILITANT SENTENCED TO DEATH 3 TIMES OVER TERRORISM CHARGES
SAUDI ARABIA: 3 SAUDIS CONVICTED OF MURDERING INDIAN WORKERS EXECUTED IN QATIF
IRAQ: 13 WOMEN SENTENCED TO DEATH
IRAN: TRADERS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR 'DISRUPTING ECONOMY'
USA: WAITING FOR THE EXECUTIONER, APPLIES FOR ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP
PAKISTAN: PHC SETS ASIDE DEATH SENTENCES TO OVER 50 CONVICTS
IRAN: TWO PRISONERS HANGED IN ISFAHAN

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