It shall discuss the different legal and academic papers which support this position and shall focus on the following issues surrounding the imposition of capital punishment: whether or not its administration is affected by race and whether or not it actually deters the commission of crimes. These concerns are crucial in determining the appropriate application of capital punishment and would help this student arrive at a logical conclusion to this paper.
In Supreme Court of Louisiana No. 98-KA-1078 v. Allen Snyder (1998), Louisiana Supreme Court Justice J. Johnson entered his dissenting opinion to the court’s decision by firmly stating that he would “have more confidence in the fair-mindedness of this jury and the jury’s pronouncement of the death sentence, had the state not used its peremptory challenges to exclude every African American juror, resulting in an all white jury for this black defendant”. His statement provides one of the crucial reasons why the death penalty should be abolished in all fifty US states. There have been various instances of cases involving discriminatory juries. Such instances include the “Texas shuffle”, where African American jurors were not allowed to be part of the jury in death penalty cases (Miller-El v. Cockrell, 2003). District attorneys have a belief that black jurors often have doubts about a defendant’s liability for killing and that they also believe that such defendants are remorseful of their crimes regardless of their seemingly uncaring behavior. On the other hand, white jurors see these defendants as dangerous. And black jurors feel that the white jurors do not actually comprehend the environment where the black defendant comes from (Amnesty International, 2009). In a paper by Loury (2001) he assessed the trend in the felony division jury trials in Cook County Circuit Court between January 1 and June 30,