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Word Count: 850
A crime that is apparently so heinous that the only conceivable punishment is death The use of the death penalty as a deterrent to crime is as heinous as the crimes that put people on death row The death penalty is believed to be one rooted in racism and it has continued on in that tradition The poor are at a disadvantage when it comes to being tried for the death penalty Lastly the sentencing of the death penalty is not always given with just cause The penalty of death due to crime is a racist punishment that condemns the poor and innocent alike Racism has always been around and probably always will be However it has no place in our court systems It is fairly apparent that the death penalty is racist African Americans are 12 of the US population but yet they make up 43 of prisoners on death row Although Blacks constitute 50 of all murder victims 83 of the victims in death penalty cases are white Throughout the course of the history of our country only 37 of the over 18000 executions in this country involved a white person killing an African American person Also a study done in Georgia found that murderers of white people are 43 times more likely to receive a death sentence than killers of African Americans Right now more than 75 of the people on federal death row are not white Of the 156 prosecutions approved by the Attorney General since 1988 74 of the defendants were not white Having money has always been a source of influence in this country since the beginning of its existence When it comes time to defend oneself in court it all boils down to if you can afford a good attorney that specializes in capital punishment cases Justice William O Douglas once said one searches our chronicles in vain for the execution of any member of
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