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America is the last western industrial nation that still uses the death penalty against serious criminals Throughout history the American legal system has shown discrepancies in convicting minorities with serious crimes and using capital punishment for their penalty Many authors have debated the issues of discrimination and how it can be proved The Baldus study was the first comprehensive statistical analysis on the issue This study clearly had shown a discrepancy in the way sentences where handed down to minorities It failed to make any changes in cases in was used for Other authors believed that this study was flawed because of the amount of interracial crimes They believe that the numbers are not statically relevant Many cases have failed to show clear prejudice or racism in court proceedings but have shown instances of false arrests and convictions after new evidence surfaces clearly showing racism in the steps of law enforcement This paper will review the studies and cases that will bring to light these findings Anthony G Amsterdam believes that the decision in the case of Warren McCleskey amounts to an open license to discriminate against people of a different race and places it on grounds that implicate the entire criminal justice system Warren McClesky was a black man sentenced to die for the murder of a white man in Georgia He robbed a furniture store at gunpoint and he or one of his accomplices killed an officer who arrived first on the scene McCleskey may have been the shooter Whether he was or not he was still guilty of murder under Georgia law His court case was not interested in his guilt but why he was sentenced to death instead of life imprisonment Amsterdam 1988 The Supreme Court held that McCleskey can be constitutionally put to death even though there was unexplained statistical evidence that the death penalty is being imposed by juries in Georgia in a pattern that reflects the
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