New report calls for moratorium on federal death penalty


The ACLU Capital Punishment Project and Racial Justice Project released a joint report this week titled, “The Persistent Problem of Racial Disparities in the Federal Death Penalty.” The report finds widespread racial disparity in the administration of the federal death penalty.  The report presents overwhelming evidence that people of color are more likely to receive the death penalty, that the penalty is more likely to be administered if the victims are white and that white defendants are more likely to receive reduced sentences by plea bargaining. The report advocates that Congress take the following four actions:


[1] implement an immediate moratorium on federal executions and prosecutions; [2] fund a thorough study of the federal death penalty and its racial disparities; [3] enact a federal Racial Justice Act permitting capital defendants to use statistical evidence as proof of racial bias; and [4] enact legislation requiring the Department of Justice to provide regularly information about implementation of the federal death penalty, including statistical data about the race of victims and defendants in cases submitted and recommend for capital punishments.

Read the full report



15 of the 204 DNA exonerations involved a person on death row.  Of these people, 9 were of color.

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